Australia has sent 157 migrants, thought to be Sri Lankan asylum seekers, to a detention centre on the Pacific island of Nauru after they declined an offer to speak with Indian officials about their refugee claims, the government said yesterday.

The Australian government had struck a deal with India for it to take back any of its nationals among the group, who set sail from that country in June seeking asylum. All 157 refused to meet officials, and will be resettled or returned to Sri Lanka, immigration minister Scott Morrison said.

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