Over 100 Rohingya asylum seekers rescued off Indonesia

Cot Trueng (Indonesia), Feb 27: Fishermen have rescued more than 100 ethnic Rohingya asylum seekers from Myanmar who were found drifting in a wooden boat off western Indonesia, an official said.
The 121 Rohingya, including six women and two children, were found adrift late yesterday by fishermen around 25 kilometres (15 miles) from the village of Cot Trueng, on the northernmost tip of Sumatra island in Aceh province.
“Their boat ran out of petrol as they tried to sail from Myanmar to Thailand,” village chief Mukhtar Samsyah told AFP today, adding that they had fled Myanmar to escape sectarian conflict.
He said the Rohingya were found in a weak condition but had recovered after being given food, water and a place to sleep.
“They’ve all been sent to an immigration detention centre in Lhokseumawe city,” he said.
The UN considers the Rohingya, a stateless Muslim ethnic group, one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, and Myanmar views its roughly 800,000 Rohingya as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, denying them citizenship.
Buddhist-Muslim unrest in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine has left at least 180 people dead and more than 110,000 displaced since June 2012.
Almost 6,000 Rohingya fleeing the violence have illegally entered Thai waters since October, the Thai army said earlier this month. (AGENCIES)


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