Southeast Asia migrant crisis
A child migrant, believed to be Rohingya, sleeps on a chair inside a shelter after being rescued from boats at Lhoksukon, in Indonesia's Aceh ProvinceRoni Bintang/Reuters

Indonesian authorities have intercepted a migrant boat, reportedly full of Rohingya Muslim migrants, before sending the vessel away from their territorial waters.

The navy provided the migrants with food and medical supplies before towing the boat out of Indonesian waters.

Most of the people on board the fully-loaded vessel, which ran out of fuel, were thought to be from Bangladesh and Myanmar.

"It was towed out of Indonesian territory. We gave them fuel and asked them to proceed. We are not forcing them to go to Malaysia nor Australia. That is not our business. Our business is they don't enter Indonesia because Indonesia is not the destination," navy spokesperson Manahan Simorangkir told AFP.

The vessel was thought to have been heading to Malaysia before it was intercepted by the Indonesian navy off the coast of Aceh. Shortly after Indonesian officials sent the boat away, its whereabouts were unclear as it was not tracked.

Hundreds of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar have already arrived in Indonesia over the last few days as the Southeast Asian nations are struggling to cope with the influx.

The sharp increase in the immigrant toll is widely linked to Thailand's latest crackdown on human trafficking after they found several bodies in jungle camps.

"It needs a regional effort... we don't have the capacity to search for them, but governments do. They have boats and satellites," Joe Lowry, Thailand-based spokesperson for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) was quoted as saying.

Some estimates suggest as many as 8,000 people could be left stranded in the high seas by human smugglers fearing crackdown by authorities.