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Bangladesh coastguard finds five dead after clash on migrant ship

Published on Jun 12, 2014 1:55 AM

DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh's coastguard on Wednesday found five dead and nearly 200 injured on a stricken people-smuggling boat it rescued in the Bay of Bengal after clashes between the would-be migrants and crew, officials said.

More than 300 people including two Thai crew and an alleged people trafficker from Myanmar were on board the Malaysia-bound vessel, which was found seven nautical miles southeast of Bangladesh's southern-most Saint Martin's Island in rough seas, they said.

Thousands of poor Bangladeshi and ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar try to migrate to Malaysia every year on a perilous and sometimes fatal 3,200km journey.

"We searched the ship and found five bodies of Bangladeshi nationals. All of them were shot dead by the crew and the traffickers," coastguard commander Harun-or-Rashid said by phone from the island close to the Myanmar border.

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