UN says up to 100 people on sunk refugee boat

AP News
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Posted: Nov 04, 2011 6:06 AM
UN says up to 100 people on sunk refugee boat

The U.N. refugee agency says up to 100 people were on a rickety smuggling boat that sank off the coast of Indonesia on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says 47 people were rescued due to the quick response of Indonesian authorities.

Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva on Friday that the bodies of four children and five women have been recovered from the water.

He says the boat was designed to carry 30 people and the exact number of missing is unknown.

But between 60 and 100 people are estimated to have boarded the overloaded vessel hoping to reach Australia.

Most of the passengers were Iranian, Afghan and Pakistani nationals.