Indonesia detains 66 Afghan, Iranian migrants
Indonesia detained 66 asylum seekers from Iran and Afghanistan who were on their way to Australia, officials and media reports said Wednesday.
The migrants were found stranded on Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara province. Their boat had run aground and the skipper and crew had fled, an immigration official, who identified himself only as Emon, said, DPA reported.
He said among the migrants were four women and five children. Thirty-four of the Australia-bound migrants were Iranian and 32 came from Afghanistan.
Senior Commissioner Purwoko, the marine police chief of the province's capital Kupang, was quoted by the state-run Antara news agency as saying that police was informed about the migrants by local fishermen.
Undocumented migrants mostly from the Middle East, South and Central Asia seeking better lives in Australia have for years used Indonesia as a transit country.