Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more

REPORTERS

Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Politics: parties under pressure

Read more

FOCUS

In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Israeli special forces attack Hamas base inside Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament resumes session on key appointments

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • Germany vs Argentina - history and genius clash in World Cup final

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Dozens believed dead in Australian asylum shipwreck

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-20

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Monday that some 48 people were thought to have died when a boat carrying asylum seekers crashed into rocks off Christmas Island last week, but that the exact toll would probably never be known.

AP - The number of asylum seekers believed killed when their boat smashed into rocky cliffs along an Australian island rose to 48 on Monday, as the prime minister warned that those still missing may never be found.

Thirty bodies have been recovered since a rickety boat packed with Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish asylum seekers smashed into the rocks on Christmas Island last week and broke apart in stormy seas. Forty-two people were rescued from the churning surf, but officials believe many more were swept away in the strong currents, or sank to the ocean floor.
 
Rescue workers have been interviewing survivors to help determine exactly how many people were on board so they can clarify how many are still missing.
 
On Monday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it appears about 90 asylum seekers were on the boat, based on the latest information from the Australian Federal Police.
 
“That does mean, of course, that we are still not able to account for around 18 people on the boat,” Gillard told reporters in Canberra. “But I do say that we may never know the total number with certainty.”
 
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Saturday that the search for survivors had switched to a search for bodies in the waters surrounding remote Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean. But Gillard warned Monday that those still missing may never be found.
 
“We are, of course, talking about very rough seas, very rocky and difficult coastline, and so it may be that there are bodies of people who traveled on the boat that are never recovered,” she said. “So that is obviously very, very grim news.”
 
Australia is a top destination for asylum seekers hoping to start new lives after escaping from poor, war-ravaged countries. In recent years, many refugee hopefuls from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Myanmar have flown to Indonesia and then continued on to Australia by sea, in rickety, jam-packed boats that have few provisions and no safety gear.
 
Asylum seekers who are intercepted by officials are generally sent to an immigration detention center on Christmas Island, or other detention centers on the Australian mainland.

 

Date created : 2010-12-20

Comments

COMMENT(S)