77 illegal migrants stranded in Indonesia's Madura island

Updated: 2010-12-08 20:40


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JAKARTA -- A total of 77 illegal migrants from Iran, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan stranded in port city of Sumenep in Indonesia's East Java province's Madura island, an official said in Sumenep on Wednesday.

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They consisted of 12 children, 13 female and 52 male people. They were found stranded in Sumenep waters on Tuesday night by local fishermen after their boat floating in the waters, ran out of fuel.

They were almost beaten up by the fishermen as they were suspected of a gang of terrorists trying to infiltrate the island through the sea, Sumenep port administrator Eka Cakrawala said.

"Neither they nor the boat have no document,"Eka was quoted by the detik.com as saying. He added that all of them intended to go to Australia.

They are now being interrogated by Indonesian authority. Indonesia has been a stopover point for illegal immigrants before entering Australia. Hundreds have been arrested while to crossover Indonesia to Australia by boats.

Indonesia, Australia and International Organization on Migration (IOM) have processed the arrested illegal migrants, some of them were returned to their respective countries, and some others were diverted to third countries that are willing to accept them.

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