Friday, May 22, 2015Friday, May 22, 2015

Australia turns back asylum-seeker boat: Report

Published on Jan 7, 2014 10:20 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday refused to discuss reports that the Australian navy turned a boatload of asylum-seekers back to Indonesia, which later ran aground.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said the vessel carrying about 47 people, mostly from Sudan and Somalia, was forced back to Indonesian waters in mid-December and later ran out of fuel.

It then ran aground on Rote Island on Dec 19 with those on board picked up by Indonesian authorities, the broadcaster said.

"For operational security reasons, the government does not disclose, confirm or otherwise comment on reports of on-water activities in relation to Operation Sovereign Borders," Mr Morrison said in a statement.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!