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Six asylum seeker boats arrive in three days

Date

Dan Harrison

Authorities have intercepted a boat carrying 110 asylum seekers north-west of Christmas Island.

HMAS Albany intercepted the vessel on Monday morning, and transferred the passengers to Christmas Island where they will undergo initial security, health and identity checks, and their reasons for travel will be established.

The latest boat is the sixth to arrive since Friday night. The six boats have carried an estimated 429 people.

On Sunday, border protection command intercepted a vessel north-west of Cocos (Keeling) Islands carrying 105 people. On Saturday, a vessel carrying 90 people was intercepted north-west of Christmas Island, and a boat carrying 49 people was intercepted north-west of Cocos.

On Friday night, a vessel carrying 63 people was intercepted north-north-west of Christmas Island, and another smaller boat carrying 12 people was intercepted west-north-west of Christmas Island.

More than 100 boats carrying about 6000 people have arrived in Australian waters since the government announced in August it was resuming offshore processing as part of a tough new policy to deter boat arrivals.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the latest arrivals showed the  government had lost control of Australia's borders.

''Every day it seems to be getting worse,'' he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

''Each month seems to bring record arrivals.  The government doesn't have any answers.''

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen last week introduced legislation to excise the Australian mainland from the migration zone as a further deterrent to asylum seekers arriving by boat.

with AAP

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