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Thursday 29 September 2016

A drowned toddler – the harrowing symbol of EU’s migrant crisis

Published 03/09/2015 | 02:30

A Turkish border guard carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi (3) after a number of migrants died and others were reported missing when boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized near Bodrum in Turkey.
A Turkish border guard carries the lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi (3) after a number of migrants died and others were reported missing when boats carrying them to the Greek island of Kos capsized near Bodrum in Turkey.

The harrowing image of the body of a little boy, still dressed in a bright red T-shirt and shorts, has provoked outrage across the world and become the symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis.

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Three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a refugee from the civil war in Syria, was found lying face-down on the beach in a holiday resort in Turkey.

A Turkish border guard tenderly cradled the lifeless body of the toddler, washed ashore on the beach near the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, a resort popular with Irish tourists.

His brother Galip (5) also drowned after their desperate parents joined a group of Syrian-Kurdish refugees in an attempt to cross to the Greek island of Kos. Their boats, unsuited to such a crossing, capsized.

Meanwhile, EU leaders are still struggling to agree on how to handle the migrant crisis, with Germany, France and Italy calling for a fair distribution of migrants.

And UN official Peter Sutherland says Ireland must do more to help.

“I think Ireland could and should take more (refugees),” the former European Commissioner and Attorney General said.

Although the images are disturbing, the Irish Independent has decided to publish the pictures of Aylan’s body as they capture the reality of the human tragedy of Europe’s migrant crisis.

This newspaper has also published the donation details of the aid agencies trying to assist desperate people caught up in the worst migrant crisis since World War II.

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