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4 more boys rescued from Thai cave: official

Four boys and their coach remain in the cave.
2018-07-09-cave-rescue-AB
In this undated photo released by Royal Thai Navy on July 7, 2018, Thai rescue team members walk inside a cave where 12 boys and their soccer coach have been trapped since June 23, in Mae Sai, Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Royal Thai Navy

Four more boys have reportedly been rescued from a flooded cave in northern Thailand where a youth soccer team has been trapped for two weeks, just hours after the second phase of a rescue operation was launched on Monday.

An aide to the Thai Navy SEAL commander says four boys were brought out of the flooded cave in northern Thailand on Monday and the ongoing rescue operation is over for the day.

The aide, Sitthichai Klangpattana, didn’t comment on the boys’ health or say how well the operation has gone.

The youth soccer team — comprised of boys aged 11 to 16 and their 25-year-old coach — has been trapped for more than two weeks after heavy rains flooded the kilometers-long cave network made up of caverns connected by tight passages.

A total of eight of the 12 boys have now been brought out of the treacherous cave system by divers, including four who were brought out on Sunday, when the rescue operation began.

Four boys and their coach remain in the cave.

Authorities have been rushing to extract the boys and their coach from the cave as the annual monsoon bears down on the mountainous region in far northern Chiang Rai province. Workers have been labouring around the clock to pump water out of the cave, and authorities said Monday that heavy downpours overnight did not raise water levels inside.

The boys and their coach went exploring in the massive Tham Luang Nang Non cave on June 23 after a soccer practice, and were cut off when a rainstorm flooded the cave. A massive international search operation was launched and it took 10 days to locate the boys, who had taken shelter on a dry slope deep in the complex.

The search and rescue operation has riveted people both in Thailand and internationally, with journalists from across the globe travelling to this town along the border with Myanmar to report on the ordeal.

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