Australia intercepts 17 suspected asylum seekers


SYDNEY — The Australian Navy has detained 17 suspected asylum seekers at sea just a week after a boatload of Afghans, Iranians and Indonesians was intercepted off the country’s coast, officials said Tuesday. Immigration Minister Chris Evans declined to reveal where the latest boat people were from, but said there could be a connection between the two batches of suspected illegal immigrants.

“I haven’t ruled out the possibility that these two boats may have been launched by the one people smuggling syndicate,” Evans told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). “We don’t know as yet, but certainly I’m of the view that there may be a connection between the two.”