129 Myanmar refugees rescued off Indonesian waters

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ACEH, INDONESIA: The Indonesian Navy on Tuesday rescued 129 Myanmar refugees who were stranded in Krueng Raya waters in Aceh province, the Antara news agency reported on Wednesday.

The 129 refugees were stranded in the sea for several days and were found starving and dehydrated after the engine of their boat broke down. They were found by Aceh Besar fishermen around midnight and informed the Navy.

Aceh water police spokesman Senior Commissioner Zaini said the police along with immigration and quarantine officials were still trying to identify the foreign refugees. The rescued individuals are kept at Krueng Raya's Malahayati port.

Two of the 129 rescued Myanmar's refugees were transported to the Masjid Raya clinic to receive intensive medical treatment for dehydration. The other refugees were in weak but stable condition due to starvation.

After Indonesian authorities interviewed the refugees, police informed that the 129 individuals were part of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar. The group had previously fled to Thailand last month.

Nur Alam, one of the refugees, said the boat they were traveling on had been stranded at sea for 25 days. Alam added that they were heading to Australia to seek asylum. He added that they left Myanmar to avoid torture.

In February 2009, hundreds of refugees from Myanmar were also rescued by the Indonesian Navy after drifting aboard a wooden boat at sea for almost three weeks.

(BNO NEWS )

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