Tuesday 28 March 2017

Five children among 33 migrants drown off Turkish coast

Migrants wait to travel to the Greek island of Lesbos, near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Turkey, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016
Migrants wait to travel to the Greek island of Lesbos, near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Turkey, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016

At least 33 people, including five children, have drowned in the Aegean Sea after their Greece-bound boat capsized off the Turkish coast.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said coastguards rescued 75 others from the sea on Saturday near the resort of Ayvacik en route to the Greek island of Lesbos.

The agency has identified the survivors as natives of Afghanistan, Syria and Burma.

The International Organisation for Migration said 218 people have died this year while trying to cross by sea from Turkey to Greece.

Turkey is hosting an estimated 2.5 million refugees from Syria.

In November, Turkey agreed to fight smuggling networks and stem the flow of migrants into Europe. In return, the EU has pledged 3 billion euros to help improve the refugees' conditions.

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