(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Thirteen people drowned Tuesday when a boat carrying Indonesian illegal immigrants capsized after being struck by strong waves off Malaysia, state news agency Bernama reported, quoting local police.
The boat was believed to be taking the Indonesians back to their home country when it overturned off the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
Police Chief Superintendant Rahmat Othman of the Malaysian town of Kota Tinggi was quoted by Bernama as saying police had launched a search for survivors and any more victims.
The dead included nine women and four men, whose bodies washed up on beaches in the area, the report said.
Malaysia is Southeast Asia's third-largest economy and a magnet for migrant workers from its poorer neighbours, with the vast majority coming from Indonesia.
About two million Indonesians, many of them working illegally, are now in Malaysia doing a range of generally low-paid jobs.
Deadly accidents in the strait are not uncommon, with travellers typically attempting the crossing in rickety vessels and often at night to avoid detection.