Asylum seeker boats continue to target Australia

15:58, January 13, 2010      

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A further 42 asylum seekers arrived off Christmas Island on Wednesday as the Australian government faced mounting pressure to explain why it brought five Tamils to Australia after they had been found to be security risks.

The latest arrival means 189 asylum seekers have been intercepted in the 13 days of 2010, all part of a 654 million Australian dollar (604 million U.S. dollar) program the government described last year as "the largest surveillance and detection operation against people smuggling in Australian history".

The five Tamils were rejected by the spy agency ASIO (Australian Security Intelligence Organization) after security vetting done either aboard the customs vessel Oceanic Viking or at an Indonesian detention center last year.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans made no apologies, and said he trusted ASIO to deliver appropriate findings.

"It was always expected we would have some people fail the security clearance," Evans told Fairfax Media.

"If they fail the security check they're not coming to Australia.

"It's a world problem, we are all trying to deal with it."

Source: Xinhua
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