20 dead as asylum-seeker boat sinks off Indonesia
September 27, 2013 - 2:52:01 pm
JAKARTA: At least 20 people, mostly children, have drowned and many are missing after an Australia-bound boat carrying Middle Eastern asylum-seekers sank off Indonesia, police said Friday.
"Local people found 20 dead bodies floating in the water, most of them are children," said Warsono, a police official in Cianjur district of West Java province on Indonesia's main island of Java.
The official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, added that the boat was believed to have been carrying 120 people, and that 25 adults had so far been rescued alive.
He said they were asylum-seekers heading to the Australian territory of Christmas Island and those who had died and the survivors were from Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen.
It was just the latest deadly sinking of an asylum-seeker boat off Indonesia, a hub for would-be refugees trying to reach Australia.
It came just days before Australia's new Prime Minister Tony Abbott visits Indonesia, where his tough policies aimed at stemming the flood of asylum seekers have caused anger. (AFP)