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Report: Indonesia moves warships amid tensions with Australia

Jakarta - Indonesian has moved warships closer to the border with Australia and put aircraft on stand-by to thwart possible incursions by Australian ships towing back asylum seekers, a report said Thursday.

Last week, Canberra admitted that naval vessels involved in stopping Australia-bound undocumented migrants crossed into Indonesian territorial waters.

A number of Indonesian navy ships have been deployed and four airforce defence radars have been programmed to closely monitor the maritime border, The Jakarta Post said, citing military spokesmen.

"If we notice any border violations, our air base in Makassar will be ready," air force spokesman Air Commodore Hadi Tjahjanto was quoted as saying.

"Australia is reachable from there," he said.

The Sultan Hasanuddin Air Force Base in Makassar, the capital of South Sulawesi province, is the base of 16 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-27and Su-30 fighter aircraft.

Navy chief spokesman Commodore Untung Suropati said warships that had moved toward the Australian border included frigates, fast torpedo craft, fast missile craft and corvettes. "All the ships are on the move, patrolling the waters," he told the Post.

DPA


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