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Saudi woman runaway held in Thailand while fleeing family

BANGKOK (AP) – A Saudi woman is using social media to draw attention to her plight to flee her family, claiming that authorities in Thailand have confiscated her passport and are holding her at an airport hotel room in Bangkok.

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, 18, began posting on Twitter late Saturday after Thai authorities stopped her in transit from Kuwait. She claims to have a visa for Australia where she was headed.

On Twitter, she wrote of being in “real danger” if forced to return to her family under pressure from Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia’s charge d’affaires in Bangkok Abdullah al-Shuaibi was quoted in Saudi press Sunday as saying that Alqunun was stopped by Thai authorities because she did not appear to have a return ticket or itinerary to show she was a tourist.

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