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Thai Official: Saudi Teen Leaving for Canada Tonight After Being Granted Asylum

A Saudi teen who barricaded herself inside a Bangkok hotel this week—to fight what she said was a forced repatriation attempt by Saudi authorities—will leave tonight for Canada, where she has been granted asylum, the AP reports. A Thai immigration official said Friday that the case of Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, was expedited by U.N. refugee agency officials and she had been weighing offers from Australia and Canada. “I am so happy. I will start a new life,” Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, told the Mail in an interview just days after fleeing to Thailand to escape threats and alleged abuse by her male family members for renouncing Islam. The teen made headlines during her standoff with Thai authorities by live-tweeting much of the ordeal as she pleaded for asylum.