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Boat people pillaged by pirate 'fishermen'

The League of Red Cross Societies said Thursday that Thai or Malay pirates who disquise themselves as fishermen are robbing, raping, and killing large numbers of Vietnamese boat people each month. Although the situation in Southeast Asia has stabilized considerably, thousands of refugees are still leaving Vietnam in small, unseaworthy vessels, the league secretary-general, Henrich Beer, said. He estimates that 50 percent of the boats are attacked.