Indonesia wants explanation after boat incident

INDONESIA wants an explanation from Australia after 17 people who were turned away from Christmas Island ended up going ashore in West Timor.

The 16 asylum seekers and one crew member were reportedly on a boat that Australian authorities towed away from Christmas Island last week.

Sky News reported Bangladeshi man Muhammad Anwar, 22, told Indonesian news agency Antara the group was detained for four days and put on a new boat for the trip back to Indonesia.

They landed at West Kupang on Thursday night after they ran out of fuel and their cries for help were heard by locals, Antara reported.

Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir told reporters Indonesia expected Australia to explain its actions.