Asylum seekers found on Austrian ship

An Austrian-flagged sailing boat has been seized in southern Italy when coastal guards discovered more than two dozen refugees on board.

Twenty-five asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq were found on the vessel which sailed under Austrian flag. The refugees were taken to a local centre for asylum seekers, officials in the city of Crotone said today (Thurs). It is unclear whether they will be allowed to stay.

Officials of Frontex, the European Union’s (EU) external border security unit, arrested two Ukrainians who were the skippers on the boat. The boat’s passengers are doing well, according to the authorities.