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129 Rohingya Rescued at Sea in Indonesia


A group of rescued 129 Burma refugees belonging to the Muslim Rohingya minority sits sheltered at the port area in the village of Kreung Raya in Aceh province, February 16, 2011

A group of rescued 129 Burma refugees belonging to the Muslim Rohingya minority sits sheltered at the port area in the village of Kreung Raya in Aceh province, February 16, 2011

More than 100 Burmese Muslim refugees have been rescued at sea and brought ashore in Indonesia's western Aceh province.

Authorities say the 129 members of the Rohingya minority had been at sea for almost three weeks when their 14-meter wooden boat broke down. Fishermen discovered the all-male group drifting Tuesday and they were towed ashore early Wednesday.

Indonesian officials say they are providing food and medical check-ups for the men, who were weak and dehydrated after running out of food and water.

Human rights groups say the Rohingya have been subject to extrajudicial killings, forced labor, restrictions on movement and religious persecution in Burma. Hundreds of them try to escape by boat every year.

An Indonesian official said the government will discuss the case with international refugee authorities.

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