Boat with 200 aboard capsizes CANBERRA – A boat carrying about 200 people capsized south of Indonesia and scores were feared drowned yesterday in an apparent attempt to reach Australia to seek asylum. Indonesian and Australian navies launched efforts to rescue survivors.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation cited the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as reporting that an Australian navy ship and a cargo ship had rescued 73 survivors. The authority’s spokeswoman could not be immediately contacted for comment.
The boat capsized about 200 kilometres (120 miles) north of the Australian territory of Christmas Island – and about the same distance south of Indonesia – with “up to 200 people” on board, the Australian Customs Service said in a statement.
Syrian pilot defects to Jordan
AMMAN – A Syrian fighter pilot flew his plane to Jordan yesterday and asked for political asylum, the first defection of an air force pilot with his plane during the 15-month uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Jordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah confirmed that the pilot had defected.
Initially, three Jordanian officials said the Russian-made MiG-21 made an emergency landing at the northern King Hussein Air Base in Mafraq, 70 kilometres north of the Jordanian capital and near the Syrian border.
The confusion underlined Jordanian concern about upsetting the Assad regime and being dragged into the Syrian conflict.
More arrivals from Myanmar
COX’S BAZAR - Bangladesh security forces yesterday detained more Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in western Myanmar and were questioning them before sending them back, a border official said Thursday.
Bangladesh has turned back more than 2 000 Rohingyas who tried to enter the country after the deadly violence between Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists erupted this month.
The 16 new arrivals are men between ages 20 and 30, said Lieutenant Colonel Zahid Hasan, a commander of Bangladesh’s border troops. Hasan said they will be provided food and medicine for their journey, but did not say when.