Fri, 04 May 2001

185 Afghans stranded in Bima

BIMA, West Nusa Tenggara: A boat carrying 185 illegal immigrants from Afghanistan on Wednesday drifted ashore in Pusu Waworanda Bay on Sumbawa island, some 65 kilometers south of here, Antara reported.

The boat, which left the southern coast of Malang, East Java, last week, had engine trouble when it was sailing in Sumbawa waters and was swept ashore by strong waves into the bay.

The passengers included 20 women and several children.

The eastern part of Indonesia has been used frequently as a transit point for illegal immigrants to enter Australia. Most of those caught or stranded have come from the Middle East or Central Asia. (prb)