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    Asylum Seekers Bound for Australia Held in Indonesia


    by NTDTelevision

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    Over 100 asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan heading for Australia are being held in Indonesia's Banten Province... after their boat broke down near Indonesian waters. No decision has yet been made as to what will happen to the group.

    Over 100 asylum seekers from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan heading to Australia were rescued by Indonesian officials on Monday... after their boat suffered an engine failure.

    The asylum seekers, including women and children, were found drifting in the sea off Indonesia's Panaitan Island.

    One man is grateful Indonesian officials came to their rescue.

    [Mehdi, Asylum Seeker From Afghanistan]:
    "And our ship was broke down from downside and we were about to sink and official ship came and they saved our lives."

    The asylum seekers were looked at by local doctors.

    [Muhammad Yasin, Immigration Official]:
    "We gave them a medical check up, two of them have been brought to the hospital."

    Officials say the asylum seekers will be taken to a hotel in the city of Serang because there is no immigration center in the area. Officials haven't said what will happen next to the asylum seekers.

    Earlier this month, Canberra and Kuala Lumpur announced they had agreed on a deal to process asylum seekers in Malaysia who were caught heading to Australia.

    Australia tries to intercept boat people in the Indian Ocean, detaining them on its offshore and remote Christmas Island for processing.

    Australia currently has more than 6,000 asylum seekers in detention from countries including Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.