03:05 - Source: CNN
Indonesia, Malaysia agree to take in migrant ships

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Officials still counting the number of bodies, Malaysian government minister says

Thai police previously found mass graves on their side of the border

CNN —  

Mass graves of refugees caught up in the human-trafficking trade have been found in northern Malaysia near the border with Thailand, authorities said Sunday.

Malaysian Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the trafficking camps were believed to have been in operation for at least five years and were only abandoned when authorities arrived on the scene, according to Bernama, the Malaysian state news agency.

He said officials were still counting the number of bodies in the graves, which were found near 17 tents in the Padang Besar area of Perlis state.

“With the cooperation of Thailand, we will find more and more,” Zahid told reporters.

Graves previously found in Thailand

Police in Thailand have reported finding graves and camps from human trafficking on their side of the border in recent weeks, prompting a crackdown on the trade from authorities.

But that has intensified the crisis at sea. Boats carrying the migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh have chosen to stay away from the shore, deepening the plight of the people crammed on board, who often lack food and drinking water.

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CNN’s Kocha Olarn contributed to this report.