Cave rescue: The dramatic mission to save boys in pictures

Thai ambulance van Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ambulances bring the rescued boys to a nearby hospital in northern Thailand

It was the good news the world had been waiting for: the first of the boys trapped in a cave in Thailand had been brought to safety.

The operation to save the children and their football coach from the flooded cave began on Sunday, with four members rescued and taken to hospital.

On Monday, the operation to free the remaining nine will resume.

Here are some pictures of the dramatic mission captivating Thailand and the world.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption When the boys were brought out, they were immediately seen by a medical team
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ambulances were on standby at the site waiting for the boys to come out
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Classmates of the boys cheered and prayed when their teacher announced the good news
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Inside the cave, long stretches are fully flooded and the boys have to be guided to dive through the muddy water
Image caption Some of the boys can't swim but they have been taught basic diving skills over the past few days
Image copyright AFP/Royal Thai Navy
Image caption The boys are trapped on a rock shelf and rescuers are racing against time as more rain will drive up water levels in the cave
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Military medical officers remain on site as the rescue mission continues
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The 12 boys and their football coach have been trapped in the flooded cave since 23 June
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Hundreds of volunteers and spectators lined the roads on Sunday to see the ambulances bring the boys to safety
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Once out, the boys were taken to a local hospital
Image copyright AFP
Image caption On Sunday night, the rescue mission paused so that air tanks could be restocked
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many volunteers remain on site to provide whatever assistance they can for the operation

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