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Australian authorities intercept asylum seekers boat

07-21-2010 10:54 BJT

CANBERRA, July 21 (Xinhua) -- The Australian authorities on Wednesday intercepted the first asylum seeker boat to arrive during the election campaign, north of Christmas Island.

Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying "initial indications suggest there are 40 passengers and three crew on board".

"The group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks and their reasons for travel will be established."

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told Australian Associated Press that she had been advised of the latest arrival.

"I've been very clear, there's no quick fix here," Gillard told reporters while campaigning in western Sydney.

"We have a long-term solution through developing a regional framework and a regional processing center," she said, adding "it will take hard work and patience and determination to deliver that long-term solution which would take away the very product that people smugglers sell."

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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