An Indian Foreign Ministry official has said that the coastguard found 81 survivors and 8 dead adrift in the Andaman Sea.
The official further stated that the refugees would not be allowed into Indian territory. Indian authorities are in talks with Bangladesh to agree on the safe return of the boat which was found in international waters.
The boat set off from Cox’s Bazar in southern Bangladesh on February 11th and was headed to Malaysia. The refugees were fleeing military crackdowns in Myanmar and were searching for a better life in Malaysia.
The boat’s engine failed 4 days into the journey, leaving the passengers stranded on the sea, without food and water. Many showed signs of dehydration and were ill at the time they were rescued, says Anurag Srivastava, the spokesman for the foreign ministry. He also stated that 1 person is missing.
Bangladesh authorities say they are not aware of any boats leaving the refugee camps.
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