Hundreds missing as migrants’ boat sinks off Indonesia

December 18th, 2011 - 7:18 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Some 300 people went missing after an overcrowded boat carrying illegal migrants, most of them from the Middle East, sank off Indonesia’s Java Island Saturday, the ABC broadcaster said quoting a senior emergency official.

The wooden boat carrying some 380 people sank about 90 km (50 nautical miles) out in sea after being wrecked by strong waves, the official Sahrul Arifin said. Only 76 people were rescued.

The passengers were believed to be illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, media reports said.

Sky News quoted the official Indonesian Antara news agency as saying the boat had a capacity of 100 passengers

According to Indonesian media reports quoted by ABC, the boat was apparently heading for Australia.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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