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Indonesian police detain 80 Rohingya


Indonesian police on Sunday detained 80 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar on a remote island off Sumatra after they had got lost attempting to reach Malaysia, an official said.

An Indonesian official interviews detained ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar at a police station after they were picked up by police in an apartment in Surabaya in central Java island on April 5, 2013. Police said the group of 35 Rohingya asylum seekers bound for Australia will be detained by authorities at an immigration center. [PHOTO: AFP]
 An Indonesian official interviews detained ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar at a police station after they were picked up by police in an apartment in Surabaya in central Java island on April 5, 2013. Police said the group of 35 Rohingya asylum seekers bound for Australia will be detained by authorities at an immigration center. [PHOTO: AFP]
It was the latest boatload of Rohingya to arrive on the shores of Indonesia, as thousands flee Myanmar after tensions between Muslims and Buddhists exploded in their home state of Rakhine last year.

The migrants, including five women and six children, arrived late morning on the island in Pulo Aceh, a cluster of tiny islands off the northwestern coast of Sumatra, local police official September Sembiring told AFP.

"Their boat is still in good condition and they have enough food and fuel. They said they wanted to go to Malaysia but lost their way," he said.

"They are all well. Two had stomach problems but nothing major."

They were being held in a large hall at the local police station and were likely to be sent to the mainland where their cases would be assessed by immigration officials, he added.

On Friday police in Surabaya city, East Java province, detained 35 Rohingya hiding out in a flat who had been planning to make the treacherous sea crossing to Australia, according to police.

Many Rohingya arriving in Indonesia face long stints in detention centres awaiting UN assessment for refugee status.

Communal tensions in Myanmar spilled over to Indonesia last week, when a group of Rohingya beat eight Buddhists to death at a detention centre in Belawan, Sumatra, after becoming enraged at news of violence in their homeland.

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Last Updated ( Monday, 08 April 2013 11:52 )