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A file photo of The Australian Border Force escorting asylum-seekers (Immigration Department)

More than 40 asylum-seekers have been taken to Nauru after they were found in a remote part of Western Australia. Source: The Guardian. 

A second group of 13 asylum-seekers was found at an Indigenous campsite at Pender Bay, about an hour after a group of 30 men were found at Beagle Bay on Friday.

Authorities believe both groups arrived on the same boat, although Pender Bay is about 25km north of where the first group was found. According to The Australian and the Sun-Herald, the group includes 12 Bangladeshis and one Indian man.

The asylum-seekers have been taken to offshore detention on Nauru for processing.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese told reporters in Nowra yesterday that Operation Sovereign Borders was being implemented.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the Government’s commitment to Operation Sovereign Borders “is absolute”.

“Every person who has attempted to reach Australia by boat since I have been minister is back in their home country, or in Nauru, having wasted thousands of dollars and having risked their lives.”

The Australian Border Force said on Friday that it was “undertaking an operation in the north-west of Western Australia” but would not provide any more information while the operation was continuing.

Rear Admiral Brett Sonter, the commander of Operation Sovereign Borders, said the “mission … remains the same today as it was when it was established in 2013: protect Australia’s borders, combat people smuggling in our region, and importantly, prevent people from risking their lives at sea”.

“Any alternate narrative will be exploited by criminal people smugglers to deceive potential irregular immigrants and convince them to risk their lives and travel to Australia by boat,” he said.

Labor has maintained the core planks of Operation Sovereign Borders, including offshore detention and turning boats back where safe to do so.

On Saturday, Opposition leader Peter Dutton continued to attack the Government’s handling of asylum-seekers. He claimed there was “no question” it did not support Operation Sovereign Borders.


Asylum seekers taken to Nauru amid renewed political stoush over border arrivals (By Paul Karp, The Guardian)