Around 700 migrants rescued off Indonesia: police

Around 700 migrants rescued off Indonesia: police
In this picture taken on May 14, 2015 migrant people wait for food rations by the government social welfare personnel in Kuala Cangkoi relocation area in Aceh province, where nearly 600 migrants mostly Rohingyas from Myanmar and Bangladesh were relocated by Indonesian authorities after their boat was washed ashore.Malaysia turned away two vessels carrying hundreds of migrants while one boat turned up on May 14 in Thai waters, as critics accused Southeast Asian governments of playing a game of "human ping pong" with the lives of desperate boatpeople.

LHOKSEUMAWE - More than 700 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants arrived in Indonesia Friday after they were rescued by fishing boats when their boat sank off the coast of Aceh province, police said.

"According to initial information we got from them, they were pushed away by the Malaysian navy to the border of Indonesian waters," said Sunarya, police chief in the city of Langsa where the migrants arrived.

After reaching Indonesian territory their boat then went down but was spotted by local fishermen who ferried them to shore, he added.

The official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, said the migrants were brought to the port in Langsa, on Aceh's east coast, aboard six fishing boats.

"The local fishermen saw the boat as it was sinking and then they helped them," he said, adding that they arrived at 5:00 am (2200 GMT Thursday).

Samsul Bahri, an immigration official in Langsa, told AFP that the initial count of the migrants was 712.

"We are evacuating them from the harbour at the moment," he said.

Malaysian patrol ships on Wednesday pushed back two migrant vessels off the northern Malaysian islands of Penang and Langkawi, according to an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another boat packed with desperate Rohingya migrants was also believed to be on the way to Indonesia after leaving Thai waters overnight after the kingdom blocked it from entering.

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