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Malaysian police find 'human trafficking mass grave'

Mass graves and the site of a suspected human trafficking camp have been discovered by Malaysian police in towns and villages bordering Thailand, a senior minister has said.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said officials are determining whether the graves were of human trafficking victims, but did not say how many dead bodies were discovered.

"This is still under investigation," he told reporters at the sidelines of an event in Kuala Lumpur.

According to media reports, the mass graves were believed to contain bodies of hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Migrant crisis: Malaysia to launch search missions

Malaysia's prime minister says his country will conduct search and rescue operations for thousands of stranded migrants.

Rohingya and Bangleshi migrants on board a fishing boat yesterday. Credit: Reuters

More than 3,000 people, including Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Burma and Bangladeshis trying to escape poverty, have arrived in overcrowded boats on the shores of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

Najib Razak tweeted that he had ordered his country's navy and coastguard "to conduct search and rescue efforts (for) Rohingya boats. We have to prevent loss of life".

Malaysia and Indonesia have said they will provide temporary shelter to migrants, but have appealed to the international community for help in resettling them.

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Indonesia and Malaysia to provide shelter to migrants

Indonesia and Malaysia will provide temporary shelter to thousands of migrants who had been stranded at sea, marking the first breakthrough in the humanitarian crisis confronting south-east Asia.

A fishing boat carrying Rohingya and Bangleshi migrants is pulled to shore by Achenese fisherman. Credit: Reuters

Most of the migrants are the persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority from Burma and others are Bangladeshis fleeing poverty.

The agreement came as more than 430 migrants who had been stranded at sea for months were rescued and taken to Indonesia.

"Indonesia and Malaysia agreed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to those 7,000 irregular migrants at sea," Mr Anifah told reporters.

He said the two countries "also agreed to provide them temporary shelter provided that the resettlement and repatriation process will be done in one year by the international community".

Hundreds of migrants brought to shore in Indonesia

Hundreds of Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have been brought to shore in Indonesia's northwestern Aceh province, Reuters reported, citing a search and rescue official.

"In total we found around 500 people out at sea and they are being brought to land in smaller boats," Khairul Nova, of the national search and rescue agency, said.

Many Rohingya migrants have arrived in Indonesia by boat previously. Credit: REUTERS/Beawiharta

Over 350 migrants have been brought to shore by local fishermen in the town of Kuta Binje and are being registered by immigration authorities, a witness told the news agency.

The latest group brought to shore adds to the over 2,000 who have managed to land in Indonesia and Malaysia after weeks of drifting in the Andaman Sea with little food or water.

More than 100 migrants brought to shore in Indonesia

More than 100 migrants have been brought to shore by fishermen in Indonesia's northwestern Aceh province, Reuters reported, citing a search and rescue official.

"Nearly 400 more have been sighted at sea and fishermen are attempting to bring them to land," Khairul Nova, of the national search and rescue agency, said.

Rohingya migrants, who recently arrived in Indonesia by boat, in Aceh province. Credit: REUTERS/Beawiharta

Nova said the Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants had landed in the town of Kuta Binje in Aceh.

The latest group brought to shore adds to the nearly 1,400 who have managed to land in Indonesia after weeks of drifting in the Andaman Sea with little food or water.

Indonesia rescues 700 migrants adrift at sea

Around 700 migrants have been rescued after being left to drift in south-east Asian seas Credit: Reuters

More than 700 migrants who were stranded on a boat in south-east Asian seas after being turned away by Thailand and Malaysia have been rescued.

The migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh were brought ashore to the east coast of Aceh on Indonesia's island of Sumatra this morning, a search and rescue official said.

"The latest information we have is about 794 people were found in the middle of the sea and brought ashore by fishermen at 5am," Khairul Nova, the official in the town of Langsa in Aceh, said.

"They are now in a warehouse by the port as a temporary arrangement," Nova added.

Thousands of migrants are stranded on similar boats in Southeast Asian seas as governments in the region seek to prevent them from landing, despite a UN request to rescue them.

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Families demand answers over missing MH370 flight

Relatives of the passengers who went missing when Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared last year have demanded answers over what happened to the doomed plane.

Family members of the missing gathered outside the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing today, on the one year anniversary of the plane's disappearance, waving banners saying "Never give up. Search on" and "MH370. Tell us truth."

Catherine Gang, whose husband Li Zhi was onboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, holds a sign during a gathering of family members of the missing passengers outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Family members of passengers aboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 shout slogans during a gathering outside the Malaysian embassy in Beijing Credit: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Police guard outside the Malaysian embassy on the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in Beijing Credit: REUTERS/Jason Lee

MH370 investigators issue interim report

Dato Kok Soo Chon, chief MH370 investigator. Credit: APTN

The Malaysian investigation team looking at the disappearance of flight MH370 have issued an interim statement.

The team are obliged to issue such statements on the anniversary of the disappearance, regardless of any new information.

Dato Kok Soo Chon, chief MH370 investigator, has detailed the information, most of which was already known, that the team have been examining.

He warned: "The investigation team emphasis that the factual information that has been gathered to date, is of an interim nature and new information which may become available may alter this information before the publication of the final report."

The full report is available here.

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