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Sri Lanka arrests New Zealand-bound boat people

Published on Feb 12, 2014 8:39 PM
 
Detained Sri Lankans, who were arrested for attempting to leave for New Zealand illegally, are pictured at a police station at Beruwela in southern Sri lanka, on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014. Sri Lankan police said on Wednesday they had arrested 75 would-be asylum-seekers trying to leave for New Zealand illegally, including nine women, six children, and a suspected former Tamil Tiger guerrilla. -- PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lankan police said on Wednesday they had arrested 75 would-be asylum-seekers trying to leave for New Zealand illegally, including nine women, six children, and a suspected former Tamil Tiger guerrilla.

The group was arrested in the southern coastal town of Moragolla.

It was the first large-scale arrest of nationals in months after Australia, long a favourite destination for Sri Lanka's refugees, tightened its borders.

"These people were trying to leave illegally for New Zealand," a police statement said.

 
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