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Expert divers Sunday rescued four of 12 boys from a flooded cave in northern Thailand, as a unsafe and complicated operation unfolded amid heavy rain and the threat of rising water underground.

"The divers that were assembled from many countries are proud to have conducted this operation until its success", Narongsak said.

Authorities have been tightlipped about the progress of Monday's operation. Narongsak said the rain did not affect water levels inside the cave.

How long will the rescue operation take?

"Mini-sub arriving in about 17 hours".

The boys were flown by helicopter from the Tham Luang cave to the Chiang Rai Prachanukroh hospital, located at the heart of Chiang Rai province, about 70km (40 miles) away. Medics appeared to remove one person on a stretcher but hid the person's identity behind multiple white umbrellas.

The operation resumed after a 10-hour hiatus. Aged between 11 and 16 years, the boys were members of the Wild Boar soccer team. "Not wise questions to ask", Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha told reporters in Bangkok on Monday morning when asked about the conditions of the four. It was unclear who was inside the ambulance or the helicopter.

The four boys pulled from the cave Sunday in an urgent and unsafe operation that involved them diving through the cave's dark, tight and twisting passages were happy and in good health, authorities said.

"In the next few hours we will have good news", he said.

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As for the boys who have been rescued, they are in isolation and being monitored at a hospital for infection.

The fate of the boys and their coach has gripped Thailand and drawn worldwide media attention.

The potential for rising water and the dwindling oxygen levels added to the urgency of getting the team out.

Getty Thailand cave rescue: What time is it in Thailand now?

An ambulance allegedly carrying one of the rescued boys head to the hospital in Chiang Rai city as divers evacuated some of the 12 boys and their coach trapped at the Tham Luang cave in the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai province, northern Thailand, Monday, July 9, 2018.

So far, divers have rescued four additional boys, which leaves four more and their soccer coach to go.

There was no immediate word on their conditions.

He had said fresh air tanks needed to be laid along the underwater route.

The urgent and unsafe effort has involved the boys diving through the cave's tight and twisting passages, guided by experienced divers. Eight people remain trapped in the flooded cave system.

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A heavy but brief downpour hit the area Monday morning, but authorities said that did not change the water level in the cave, as workers continued to pump water out. All were being treated in a Chiang Rai hospital in an isolation ward.

Meanwhile, Thailand's weather department said there was a 60 percent chance of rain on Monday with thunderstorms forecast throughout the week.

A team of eighteen diving experts, including foreign and Thai citizens, began rescue operations on Sunday and managed to free four boys from the cave. Billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk was the latest to pitch in.

Musk posted videos on Twitter of the aluminum sub being tested at a swimming pool Sunday midafternoon California time.

The four boys rescued Sunday are recovering in a nearby hospital and are yet to see their parents.

The submarine is small and light enough to be carried by two divers, and can navigate through the narrow submerged areas in the cave, which is said to be the biggest challenge in rescuing the children trapped in the cave.

But he added rescuers may need more than 20 hours, to replan and replenish oxygen supplies, to be ready to mount the next mission.

During the press conference, Thai authorities said they were hoping it wouldn't rain for the rest of the rescue operation so that the process could be faster.

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