Hundreds 'missing' in Bay of Bengal

At least 300 illegal migrants feared drowned after jumping ship off Andaman islands.

    According to a coastguard statement, preliminary investigations found the men had left Bangladesh bound for either Thailand or Malaysia in six motorised boats about 45 days ago.

    At some point on their journey, the men are said to have changed vessels.

    "It's possible that most of these people are still alive," said Satya Prakash Mishra, commander of the Andamans region coast guard.

    According to one survivor, identified as Mohammad Ismail Arafat, there had been 412 men, aged between 18 and 60 on the boat, which had little food or water and only a plastic sheet for a sail.

    He also said he and others had paid a Bangladeshi agent for promised jobs in Malaysia.

    "We were left to the mercy of God ... after drifting for 10-15 days when finally we saw a lighthouse, many jumped into the water," a coastguard statement quoted him as saying.

    The Andaman and Nicobar islands lie about 1,200km off India's east coast. It comprises a chain of 536 islands in the Bay of Bengal of which only 58 are inhabited.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.