Refugee boat sinks on way to Australia, 21 dead - Indonesian police

By REUTERS
September 28, 2013 07:43

JAKARTA- A boat carrying migrants to Australia sank off the Indonesian coast on Friday, killing at least 21 people, Indonesian police said, a sign that Australia's tough new immigration rules may not be enough to deter would-be asylum seekers.

The latest disaster to strike refugees using Indonesia's southern coast to try to reach Australia will 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.

About 400 boats carrying asylum seekers have arrived in Australia over the past 12 months and about 45,000 asylum seekers have arrived since late 2007, when the former Labor government relaxed border policies, eventually tightening them again in the face of a voter backlash.


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