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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pakistan confirms death of 37 nationals in Indonesian ship sinking

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan Tuesday confirmed that 37 of its nationals have died after a ship sank in waters off the Indonesian East Java this month.

The wooden ship carrying about 250 illegal migrants seeking for asylum to Australia sank at about 40 nautical miles from TPI Prigi beach of Trenggalek district of East Java on December 18.

Pakistan Interior Ministry said that it has made efforts to facilitate the transportation of dead bodies of 37 Pakistani youths drowned in the Jawa Sea.

All those died belong to Pakisran's southwestern Balochistan province, an Interior Ministry statement said.

Federal Secretary Interior met with the Indonesian Ambassador in Islamabad and thanked Indonesian government for their all-out support provided to the Pakistan Embassy in Jakarta for transportation of dead bodies of 37 Pakistani youths and searching for the survivors.

The Indonesian Ambassador said that they have issued visas to six relatives of the victims for identification of the dead bodies and helping in the arrangements of their shifting to Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, the statement said.

The ill-fated ship was heading to Christmas Island of Australia, according to Indonesia officials.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry Monday referred to unconfirmed reports that the passengers also included over 50 Pakistani nationals.

The Ministry said that Pakistani Embassy in Jakarta has set up an emergency cell which is working round the clock in coordination with the relevant authorities in Quetta for identification of the nationality of the deceased.

The Consular Team of the Embassy has already met six Pakistani survivors in Surabaya Island, he said.

Indonesia has been a favorable transit points for illegal immigrants from the Middle East heading to Australia. But, they are frequently encountered with sea accidents as they take the journey with lack of safety standard, and the huge waves in the ocean could hit and collapse their small ship or boat, leaving dozens fatalities.

Xinhuan News

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