Myanmar boat survivors say they floated 25 days

97 died before rescue in Sri Lanka

Myanmar boat survivors rescued by Sri Lanka's navy last week say they floated for 25 days at sea and 97 people died of starvation after Thailand's navy intercepted and forcibly removed their boat's engines.

Thirty-two men and a boy now detained at an immigration detention center near Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, were rescued last Saturday when their dilapidated wooden vessel began sinking while making a perilous journey to Malaysia.

The Thai navy has denied the allegation.

The survivors are Rohingya Muslims regarded as illegal immigrants into Myanmar from Bangladesh, and say they do not want to return to Myanmar.

The survivors were suffering from severe dehydration when they were rescued about 250 miles off Sri Lanaka's east coast.



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