Australia expresses sympathy for asylum-seeker tragedy
SYDNEY (AFP) - Australia on Saturday expressed its sympathies to those affected by the latest asylum-seeker boat sinking, saying it had known there was a stricken vessel off Indonesia but could not find it.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said Australian authorities had received a call about a vessel on Friday, which placed the boat about 25 nautical miles off Indonesia.
Despite an all ships broadcast issued by Australian authorities, a merchant ship failed to find the boat and it sank in rough seas, leaving at least 22 people dead and scores missing, including many children.
It had been carrying an estimated 120 asylum-seekers from Lebanon, Jordan and Yemen.