Thailand and the United States have begun military surveillance flights in a race against time to locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants stranded on rickety boats in the Andaman Sean and the Bay of Bengal.
U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said Tuesday that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support.
More than 3,500 migrants have already landed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand this month, but thousands more are believed to be trapped at sea in boats abandoned by their captains.
Human traffickers have also abandoned jungle camps on land. Malaysia was exhuming remains Tuesday from graves at a suspected transit point used by traffickers near the Thai border.