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11 Indonesians dead, 25 missing in Malaysia boat sinking

(AFP)

At least 11 Indonesian migrants died and 25 are believed to be missing after a boat sank Wednesday in stormy weather off southern Malaysia, authorities said. 

Indonesians looking for work sometimes try to enter neighbouring Malaysia illegally by making sea crossings in rickety boats, and accidents happen regularly.

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The vessel, believed to be carrying 50 migrants, went down in the morning off Malaysia’s southern state of Johor, the coastguard said, correcting an earlier figure of 60 it released.

Soldiers on patrol discovered the bodies of seven men and four women on the shore, coastguard chief Admiral Mohamad Zubil Mat Som told AFP.

Another 14 people were found alive following the voyage from a nearby Indonesian island, and have been taken into custody, the coastguard said.

Those missing are believed to have fled into hiding or drowned, and authorities have deployed boats and an aircraft to hunt for them.

“We deeply regret this deadly tragedy,” Mohamad Zubil told AFP. “I urge migrants not to enter Malaysia illegally.”

Relatively affluent Malaysia is home to millions of migrants from poorer parts of Asia, many of them undocumented, and they work in industries including construction and agriculture.

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