Hundreds of refugees arrive in Malaysia, Indonesia after Thai crackdown

NNA – Malaysia detained more than a thousand Bangladeshi and Rohingya refugees, including dozens of children, police said, a day after authorities rescued hundreds stranded off the coast of Indonesia’s western tip.

There has been a huge increase in refugees from impoverished Bangladesh and Myanmar drifting on boats to Malaysia and Indonesia in recent days after Thailand, usually the initial destination in the region’s people smuggling network, announced a crackdown on the trafficking.

Over 100 refugees from these countries were found wandering around in southern Thailand last week, apparently after they were abandoned by the smugglers.

An estimated 25,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Bangladeshis boarded people smugglers’ boats in the first three months of this year, twice as many in the same period of 2014, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR has said.–REUTERS

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