Boat carrying 100 migrants sinks off Malaysian coast


Maritime authorities in Malaysia say that a boat carrying about 100 people capsized off the western coast of Malaysia on Thursday.

According to local media, the passengers on the boat were believed to be illegal immigrants.

Quoting a spokesman for the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Reuters reported that it was not immediately clear if there were any casualties, but that several survivors had been rescued by fishermen.

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AFP quoted a Malaysian maritime official as saying 13 were killed and another 13 were rescued by local fishermen.

The news agency reported that the passengers on-board were believed to be Indonesian migrants.

Officials said they had deployed ships and an aeroplane to search for survivors.

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The local head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Mohamad Aliyas Hamdan, told AFP: “We are not sure if the migrants were attempting to land in Malaysia or trying to leave Malaysia illegally.”

Southeast Asian nations in the summer faced a huge migrant crisis, with more than 4,000 landing in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh since Thailand launched a crackdown on people-smuggling gangs in May.

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In June 2014 two overloaded boats carrying Indonesian migrants capsized in the same area, killing at least 15 people at that time.



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