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Boat capsizes near Australia with 130 on board

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Rescuers at the scene of a refugee boat accident near Australia’s Christmas Island.

A boat carrying 130 asylum-seekers has capsized near Australia’s Christmas Island in a second such incident this week.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority announced earlier that two merchant vessels had been dispatched to the scene on a rescue operation.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said at least 125 people have been rescued so far.

On June 24, another boat carrying Indonesian asylum seekers sank south of the Sunda Strait in Indonesia. Rescuers managed to save 110 people. Seventeen bodies have been recovered. The rest are still unaccounted for.

The incident on Wednesday is the latest in a series of refugee boat disasters in recent years. Most of the vessels are poorly maintained and overloaded, carrying migrants in search of a better life in Australia.

Indonesia suffers from a weak and unsafe naval transportation network. Its 240-million-strong population is heavily dependent on the means of travel, though.


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