450 Myanmar asylum seekers reach Malaysia
Associated Press in Kuala Lumpur
Police say about 450 asylum seekers from Myanmar have landed in Malaysia after a dangerous boat journey that left one dead.
They are one of the largest groups of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims who’ve reached Malaysia this year after leaving their violence-scarred hometowns.
A police official on Malaysia’s northern Langkawi island says the asylum seekers arrived on Sunday after a roughly two-week journey on a wooden boat.
One man drowned while trying to swim ashore, while the others are in police custody.
The official couldn’t say whether they’ll be permitted to stay. He spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday because he couldn’t issue public statements.
The UN’s refugee agency has about 25,000 Rohingyas registered in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Some came this year following Muslim-Buddhist sectarian violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.