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Thursday, June 21 , 2012 - 6.37 GMT
1000 asylum seekers have reached Christmas Island so far


The number of asylum-seekers to reach Christmas Island this month has passed 1000 after the offloading of more than 100 Sri Lankans in an unusual after-dark navy operation last night.

It is the second consecutive month that more than 1000 asylum-seekers have reached Australia by boat; last monthís arrivals eclipsed 1000 for the first time since the Tampa crisis of August 2001, Australian Online reported.

At 10pm local time, the jetty at Christmas Islandís Flying Fish Cove was closed to the public and the navy began ferrying asylum-seekers to it in rigid inflatable boats.

Ordinarily, they come ashore in daylight hours on barges driven by local stevedores. The stevedores had already brought two boatloads of asylum-seekers to the jetty earlier yesterday.

Onlookers told The Australian Online that the people brought ashore were male and of Sri Lankan appearance.

While the cove was in darkness, the jetty was well lit and the men were searched as they stepped onto it. They were then placed on buses.






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Last modified: June 21, 2012.

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