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KUALA LUMPUR: A boat carrying dozens of Rohingya, including women and children, has broken down at sea and at least eight people have died, a rights group and the UN refugee agency said Monday. Members of the persecuted Muslim minority regularly try to make perilous boat crossings to Malaysia to escape vast refugee camps in Bangladesh.

The vessel is believed to have departed Bangladesh on February 11 with 90 people on board, including 65 women and girls, Chris Lewa, from the Arakan Project, told AFP.

But it broke down after a few days, had run out of food and water and was now drifting in the Andaman Sea close to India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands, said Lewa, whose group tracks Rohingya boat sailings.