Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - The police evacuated as many as 184 Rohingya refugees stranded in Kuala Matang Peulawi, East Aceh, after being forced off the ship, Monday.

Head of local police Supriadi reported that out of 184 refugees, 94 were men, 70 were women, and 20 were children.

“According to a Malay-speaking refugee, they were forced off the ship in the middle of the sea, so they had to swim ashore,” Supriadi noted.

Some villagers then found them and reported the incident to the Peureulak Police. Police officers then rushed to the location and evacuated them to take shelter at a local mosque complex.

“Some of them needed medical treatments due to fever and stomach ache. Some of them tried to escape, but they have been apprehended,” Supriadi remarked.

Meanwhile, the head of Matang Peulawi Village, Fuadi, furnished details on how they were first found.

Related news: Rohingya refugees in Aceh must not run away: UNHCR

Fuadi said that they were first found stranded at around 4:00 local time by some local fishermen.

“After receiving the report from them, we, along with some village officials, went to the location to confirm. We found out that the report was true,” he stated.

Fuadi then reported their finding to the police for further action. Meanwhile, the ship's whereabouts had yet to be found.

“They are currently being taken and secured at the Raudhatul Jannah Mosque. There, they were counted, and we got 184 as the exact number,” he noted.

One of the refugees, Ali, said that their initial goal was to flee Myanmar to reach Malaysia. They were forced off the ship to swim ashore after the ship's captain told them that they have arrived. The ship then left them behind.

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Translator: Tegar Nurfitra Putra Rofian
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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