News / Asia

    Two Dead After Asylum-Seeker Boat Capsizes Off Christmas Island

    Australian authorities say two people drowned and two were critically injured Monday when their boat filled with asylum-seekers capsized off Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

    Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said Australian customs spotted the boat, carrying 95 people, about 26 kilometers northwest of the island.

    He said the customs boat plucked 93 people from the water after the fishing boat overturned. He did not comment on the nationalities of the boat people.

    Clare said the asylum seekers were all taken to Christmas island for medical treatment and processing. The island is a host to one of Australia's detention camps for illegal aliens who have not made it to Australia's shores.

    Australia is facing a steady influx of asylum-seekers arriving by boat. Hundreds have died making the treacherous journey in the past few years.

    The country grants protection visas to about 13,000 refugees each year under various international treaties.

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