Myanmar navy to check identities of 727 migrants in “safe” location: Minister

A Myanmar military officer (right) gestures from a navy ship towards a boat packed with migrants, off Leik Island in the Andaman Sea on May 31, 2015. Myanmar's navy is escorting a boat crammed with 727 abandoned migrants to the waters of neighbo
A Myanmar military officer (right) gestures from a navy ship towards a boat packed with migrants, off Leik Island in the Andaman Sea on May 31, 2015. Myanmar's navy is escorting a boat crammed with 727 abandoned migrants to the waters of neighbouring Bangladesh, four days after intercepting it in the Andaman Sea, the country's information minister said on Tuesday, June 2. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

YANGON (REUTERS) – Myanmar’s navy is escorting 727 migrants stranded in the Andaman Sea to a “safe” location where it will verify their identities, the country’s information minister said on Tuesday, correcting an earlier comment that they were headed for Bangladesh waters.

“The operation is starting. They will be taken to a safe destination,” Ye Htut told Reuters by telephone.  

He would not disclose that location due to “security and safety concerns”.  

The migrants were found drifting on Friday in a converted fishing boat that was taking on water. Ye Htut said the navy had provided them with food and water.

(This story is developing.)