57 Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers arrive at Christmas Island

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THE first asylum boat intercepted in 13 days has arrived at Christmas Island.
The group of 57 Afghans and Iranians were brought ashore by Customs at Flying Fish Cove between 8am and 9am local time (11am and noon AEST) after motoring close to the island in a wooden boat early this morning.
They were intercepted by HMAS Wollongong.

The 57 passengers and two crew aboard are the first to reach the island since July 28, when 85 Afghans were rescued by HMAS Armidale and HMAS Broome.

Christmas Island residents and detention workers had grown accustomed to two or more boat arrivals a week.

So far this year, 83 boats carrying 3991 people have arrived at Christmas Island.

But congestion has eased slightly on the island in recent weeks following a slowdown in boat arrivals and the transfer of more than 230 Afghan men to Curtin detention centre in Western Australia’s north.


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