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Malaysia under fire for infant deaths

Bongao (Philippines), Aug. 30 (Reuters): About 1,500 Filipinos, looking gaunt and famished, sailed home from Malaysia as protests erupted in Manila over reports of infant deaths in Kuala Lumpurís crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Activists torched pictures of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and burned the Malaysian flag after reports that several infants had died of malnutrition and dehydration while in detention camps in the eastern state of Sabah or on the way home.

A grave-faced President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo mingled with the latest batch of deportees, offering words of sympathy as they arrived aboard a Philippine navy ship on the remote southern island of Bongao after a night-long trip from Sabah. When relief workers climbed aboard the ship with boxes of boiled rice and sardines, the children swarmed around them and grabbed the boxes, as though they had not eaten for days.

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