Australia stops more asylum seekers

Last updated 09:15 28/08/2012

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Australian authorities have intercepted two boats carrying 103 suspected asylum seekers north of Cocos Keeling Islands.

This brings the number of boat arrivals to four in two days.

Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said customs vessel Hervey Bay intercepted the boats, carrying 49 and 54 passengers, yesterday.

Border protection command was transferring the passengers to Christmas Island for initial security and health checks.

The government said they could be transferred to Nauru or Papua New Guinea's Manus Island under its new offshore processing regime, which is expected to start operating by the end of next month.

The navy intercepted another boat carrying 165 passengers northwest of Christmas Island on yesterday morning.

On Sunday, authorities discovered 77 suspected asylum seekers on Australia's Cocos Island.

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