• INDONESIA ASYLUM BOAT TOLL HITS 36

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    JAKARTA: The death toll from the sinking of an Australia-bound asylum-seeker boat off Indonesia rose to 36 on Monday, an official said, as Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott was set to begin a visit to Jakarta. The boat, which was estimated to be carrying between 80 and 120 Middle Eastern asylum seekers, went down on Friday in rough seas off Indonesia’s main island of Java. Twenty-eight people escaped alive as the boat foundered but more are still believed to be missing. Search teams found “four more bodies this morning, two of them are children,” Warsono, police chief in the Agrabinta area of Java, where the boat went down, said. This was on top of 11 bodies discovered on Sunday as the search teams scoured the coast. The total death toll was now 36, he said. Rescuers have been unable to deploy boats to hunt in the rough seas, with waves at heights of four to six meters.

    AFP

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