At least 24 Rohingya migrants feared drowned off Malaysian coast

July 27, 2020 | 10:04
A Rohingya migrant is said to be the only survivor from a boat carrying at least two dozen asylum seekers that is believed to have run into difficulty off the Malaysian coast near Thailand, a coastguard official of Malaysia said on July 26.
at least 24 rohingya migrants feared drowned off malaysian coast
A boat carrying Rohingya people from Myanmar arrives on the shorelines of Lancok village, in Indonesia's North Aceh Regency on June 25, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Hanoi – A Rohingya migrant is said to be the only survivor from a boat carrying at least two dozen asylum seekers that is believed to have run into difficulty off the Malaysian coast near Thailand, a coastguard official of Malaysia said on July 26.

Mohamad Zawawi Abdullah, coastguard chief for the northern states of Kedah and Perlis, said the 27-year-old named Nor Hossain was detained by police after he swam to shore on the resort island of Langkawi.

The illegal Rohingya migrant had jumped off the boat that had 24 other people and he was the only one who managed to swim to the shore safely, Zawawi said.

A search and rescue operation has been launched, but no bodies or survivors have been found. It was not clear what happened to the boat.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a favoured destination for Rohingya, who face persecution in their mostly Buddhist homeland of Myanmar.

But the Malaysian authorities have in recent months been trying to stop them entering the country over coronavirus fears.

Many of the 700,000-plus Rohingya who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar three years ago have attempted to leave overcrowded refugee camps in Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district on boats headed for Malaysia and neighbouring Indonesia.

Malaysia has stepped up maritime patrols since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic in a bid to stop Rohingya boats from landing.

VNA

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