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International relations

Defying court order, Malaysia deports over 1,000 Myanmar detainees

As rights groups cry foul, immigration head says people 'agreed' to be sent back

An immigration truck carrying Myanmar migrants to be deported is seen in Lumut, Malaysia, on Feb. 23.   © Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -- Malaysia sent over 1,000 Myanmar nationals back to their strife-torn homeland on Tuesday despite a court order to halt the deportation, pending a petition by rights groups to suspend a plan they say could endanger the deportees' lives.

The 1,086 Myanmar citizens were sent back on three navy ships sent by Myanmar's military, which seized power in a Feb. 1 coup, sparking weeks of protests from pro-democracy activists. Malaysia had initially said it would deport 1,200.

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