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UN Agency Says Malaysia Detained Some Asylum-Seekers


The United Nations refugee agency says some asylum-seekers have been detained during Malaysia's crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The U.N. High Commission on Refugees Tuesday said at least 29 asylum-seekers had been taken into custody, despite possessing documents saying they face persecution if they are sent home.

Malaysia has promised to leave alone some 35,000 asylum seekers who are members of persecuted ethnic groups in Burma, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

The agency said U.N. staff members will accompany volunteers and police conducting raids on illegal immigrants in the future.

Tuesday outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian authorities rounded up nearly 250 workers living next to a construction site.

About 400,000 illegal immigrants, many from Indonesia, Burma and the Philippines, are believed to have left during a four-month amnesty period that ended this week.

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