Australia navy intercepts 2nd biggest refugee boat of 2010

13:37, November 17, 2010      

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A boat carrying 116 suspected asylum seekers and two crew on Wednesday has been intercepted by the Australian Navy near Christmas Island of Australia.

It is one of the largest groups of asylum seekers to arrive in Australian waters in recent years.

People aboard will be transferred to Christmas Island for security, identity and health checks.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has made use of the incident to accuse Labor government's refugee policy.

He said Australia now had 35 boats arrive since the Aug. 21 election, totaling more than 1,700 people.

Nine boats have been intercepted this month by the Border Protection Command, while five of them have contained more than 50 people.

Morrison said the extra beds the government has announced will soon become redundant.

"We've had now more than 6,000 people arrive including crew in 2010 and 121 boats," he told The Australian newspaper on Wednesday.

"And that has produced more than 5,000 people in detention and 70 percent of those have been there for more than three months.

"The people-smugglers are making hay while the Gillard sun shines through their failed policies."

The Federal government earlier announced to release several hundred children and families from detention, under the government 's new asylum-seeker policy.

Official figures showed there are 5,056 people in immigration detentions in Australia, including 742 children.

Source: Xinhua


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