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Malaysian coast guard intercepts boat carrying 56 Rohingya refugees

The refugees were in good health and they were provided with food and water

IANS  |  Kuala Lumpur 

this photo released by the Royal Malaysian Navy shows Malaysian navy officers detaining a boat carrying Rohingya migrants off of Langkawi, Malaysia

The guard on Tuesday intercepted a boat carrying refugees and allowed it to disembark at island.

A total of 56 people, including women and children, were travelling in the wooden boat that was spotted by the guard two days ago in southern Thailand, an official told news.

The refugees were in good health and they were provided with and water, added.

On Sunday, the boat had stopped on the Thai island of due to poor weather and re-stocked fuel and provisions before the Thai authorities allowed it to resume its journey toward Malaysia, home to a significant diaspora.

This is the first refugee boat in months that has been spotted in the Andaman Sea, where, in 2015, thousands of and Bangladeshi migrants were stranded after they were abandoned by traffickers.

Several organisations have warned of a similar exodus as the monsoon season approaches and conditions deteriorate in refugee camps in Bangladesh, where about 700,000 Rohingya have been living in cramped conditions since last year.

The mass exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar's Rakhine region began on August 26, 2017, after the military launched an offensive.

and signed an agreement to start repatriating the Rohingya late January but withdrew from the agreement.

does not recognise the Rohingya as citizens.

First Published: Tue, April 03 2018. 15:08 IST