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Malaysia boat capsize: Death toll rises to 12, 25 still missing

The bodies were found on Tanjung Leman beach near the southeastern town of Mersing.

world Updated: Jan 24, 2017 16:34 IST
AFP, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia boat,Boat capsize,Tanjung Leman beach
Rescuers carry a body recovered from a capsized boat believed to be carrying illegal migrants, at a jetty in Hutan Melintang, Malaysia.(Reuters Photo)

Two more bodies washed ashore in Malaysia on Tuesday after a boat overloaded with illegal Indonesian immigrants capsized, raising the death toll to 12 with about 25 still feared missing.

The bodies were found on Tanjung Leman beach near the southeastern town of Mersing, said Saiful Lizan Ibrahim, local head of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

“Security forces found the two bodies -- both men -- believed to be Indonesians,” he said, adding that a sea search has been suspended due to bad weather.

Read: 10 dead, 30 missing after boat carrying illegal immigrants capsizes off Malaysia

The boat was believed to be carrying about 40 Indonesian illegal immigrants when it capsized in rough seas off Mersing. Two passengers were rescued and taken to a hospital.

The 27-foot boat, designed for only 15 people, was travelling from Indonesia’s Batam Island to Malaysia, Saiful said.

Some 45 officers were combing the shore in search of survivors.

Indonesian illegal migrants often make the perilous journey in small rickety boats to Malaysia in search of work, mainly in construction and agriculture.

Last November a speedboat believed to be carrying illegal Indonesian migrant workers returning from Malaysia sank near Batam. More than 40 people were missing.

First Published: Jan 24, 2017 16:34 IST