Indonesian authorities rescue 198 people on high seas

February 3rd, 2009 - 7:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Jakarta, Feb 3 (Xinhua) A boat carrying 198 people, all from Myanmar’s minority Rohingya community, was found stranded Tuesday morning off the coast of Aceh province in Indonesia, an official said.Nasruddin Abdullah, an official of the provincial government said: “The boat was one of nine wooden boats that have left Myanmar some 21 days ago due to security reasons.”

“The boat was found by local sailors at around 2 a.m. this morning (Tuesday), some 24 km from East Aceh, with 198 people on board. Twenty of them were in critical condition,” he said.

Nasruddin said 22 others died before they could reach the shore.

Some of the people were rushed to hospital for treatment, he added.

He said the fate of the other eight boats was not known.

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