Australia blames 'miscalculation' for intrusions in Indonesian waters

Feb. 19, 2014 at 12:34 PM

CANBERRA, Australia, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Intrusions by Australian naval vessels into Indonesian territorial waters were the accidental result of "miscalculation," an internal review found.

The review found that Royal Australian Navy ships involved in Operation Sovereign Borders crossed the border six times, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison called the incursions "highly regrettable."

"Each incursion was inadvertent and occurred as a result of miscalculation of Indonesian maritime boundaries by Australian crews," the report said.

Operation Sovereign Borders is an effort to stop boatloads of asylum seekers trying to reach Australian territory immediately after they leave Indonesian waters.

The Australian government said it has apologized to Indonesia. But an Indonesian naval spokesman said last week that officials there do not believe that, in the age of global positioning systems, the intrusions were accidental and that the government does not accept an apology made through the news media.

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