More than 30 still missing after Australia-bound refugee boat sinks

By REUTERS
September 29, 2013 06:58

 
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JAKARTA - More than 30 people were still missing two days after a boat carrying asylum seekers to Australia sank off the Indonesian coast, killing 22 people including seven children, Indonesian security officials said on Sunday.

The latest disaster to strike refugees using Indonesia's southern coast to try to make the perilous crossing suggests Australia's tough new immigration rules may not be enough to deter asylum seekers.

It will also cast a shadow over a visit to Jakarta on Monday by Australia's new conservative prime minister Tony Abbott, whose tough stance on immigration was at the heart of his election campaign.

Indonesian police said there was a total of 80 people on the boat, of whom 25 were rescued. That leaves up to 33 people still missing.

"We found the boat broken and destroyed," Indonesia's counter-terrorism agency, which went to the scene of the sinking with police, said via a text message.

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