Australia stops 2 boats of asylum seekers in 24 hours

Australia stops 2 boats

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October 22, 2009 08:31

 
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Australian authorities have intercepted two boats of asylum seekers in less than 24 hours, prompting the opposition leader Thursday to accuse the government of a "catastrophic failure" to stop the influx of migrants. Some 35 boats carrying about 1,770 asylum seekers have arrived in Australia waters this year, mostly from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. The latest boat, with 32 people on board, was stopped early Thursday, seven nautical miles off Christmas Island near Indonesia, Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said in a statement. A boat with 22 passengers and two crew was intercepted Wednesday afternoon near Ashmore Island, off northwestern Australia, an earlier statement said.

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