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Indonesia finds boatpeople 'turned back' by Australia

Published on May 6, 2014 2:18 PM
 

JAKARTA (AFP) - The Indonesian navy has found 19 boatpeople who say they were turned around trying to reach Australia in the latest tow-back of an asylum-seeker vessel under Canberra's hardline policies.

The news came just days after Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott abruptly cancelled a visit to Indonesia that had been viewed as a bid to thaw ties damaged by Canberra's border protection policies and a row over spying.

Reports at the time said he axed the trip to the resort island of Bali, where he had been due to meet Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, over fears an ongoing turn-back operation could inflame tensions.

The Indonesian navy said that it had found a boat with would-be refugees stranded on Lay island in East Nusa Tenggara province, in eastern Indonesia, early Sunday.

 
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