Four boys among a group of 13 trapped in a flooded Thai cave for more than a fortnight were rescued on Sunday, authorities said.

Rescue chief Narongsak Osottanakorn said the four had been taken to hospital and were “safe”. A Defence Ministry official had earlier told AFP six boys had “come out”. But Mr. Narongsak and the Thai Navy SEALS, who are involved in the rescue and have regularly posted updates about the operation on their Facebook page, reported that only four were out of the cave. Later, he said that efforts to bring out the remaining boys were paused for at least 10 hours.

The first two boys emerged at nightfall from the Tham Luang cave complex after navigating a treacherous escape route of more than four km.

Racing against time

Foreign divers and Thai Navy SEALS began the complex operation in the morning to extract the 12 boys and their football coach as they raced against time, with imminent monsoon rains threatening more flooding. “Today is the D-day. The boys are ready to face any challenges,” said Mr. Narongsak on Sunday morning.

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