129 fleeing Myanmar found in boat off Indonesia
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia – Indonesian marine police say they have picked up 129 starving, dehydrated people whose boat engine broke down while they were fleeing Myanmar.
Police Col. Muhammad Zaini says fishermen discovered the rickety, 45-foot (14-meter) boat off the coast of westernmost Aceh province and towed it to shore early Wednesday.
He says the passengers — all males belonging to the ethnic Rohingya minority — had run out of food and water and were severely dehydrated and weak.
One man told investigators they were fleeing violence and pressure by Myanmar's government.
The Rohingyas, who are not recognized by Myanmar's government, have fled by the hundreds of thousands to Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Middle East.