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24 Rohingya Migrants Feared Drowned off Malaysian Resort

In this handout photo released on April 5, 2020 by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, a wooden boat carries suspected Rohingya migrants detained in Malaysian territorial waters off the island of Langkawi.

Malaysian officials say 24 Rohingya migrants are feared drowned off a Malaysian resort island near Thailand.

Malaysian authorities launched a search and rescue operation on Sunday for the Rohingya refugees who went missing after jumping into the water from a boat and attempting to swim to the resort island of Langkawi.

Malaysia's coastguard said 25 people had tried to swim to shore late Saturday, but only one of them, identified as Nor Hossain, 27, made it to the island.

He was detained by police for questioning once on shore, officials said.

Muslim-majority Malaysia is a favored destination for Rohingya Muslims seeking a better life after escaping a 2017 military crackdown in their mostly Buddhist homeland of Myanmar and since then living in refugee camps in Bangladesh.