Tuesday 27 September 2016

Twenty-two migrants drown as boat capsizes in Aegean Sea

Published 15/09/2015 | 10:48

A Syrian refugee holding a baby in a lifetube swims towards the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015
A Syrian refugee holding a baby in a lifetube swims towards the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100m away before reaching the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015

Twenty-two migrants drowned and 200 more were rescued when a boat capsized in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos on Tuesday, the Turkish coastguard said.

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A total of 211 immigrants were rescued from the boat while divers recovered the bodies of 22 drowned passengers, the statement said.

Syrian and Afghan refugees are helped by locals and volunteers as they reach the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100m away from the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015
Syrian and Afghan refugees are helped by locals and volunteers as they reach the shore after their dinghy deflated some 100m away from the Greek island of Lesbos, September 13, 2015

The boat went down about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) off the resort town of Bodrum, where the drowned body of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi washed up two weeks ago, giving rise to a tragic image that shocked people around the world.

Television footage showed a crowded Turkish coastguard ship carrying rescued people to the shore. No one was immediately available for comment at the coastguard.

The news agency Dogan said the group had been travelling to Kos in a 20-metre (66-foot) wooden boat. Turkey is currently host to more than 2 million refugees, mostly from the conflict in Syria, and tens of thousands have set off from its coast for Greece and eventually northern Europe.

On Sunday, 34 people including 15 babies and children died when another wooden boat capsized off the Greek island of Farmakonisi.

In Europe's worst migration crisis since World War Two, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, expects at least 850,000 migrants and refugees to head to the continent this year.

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Reuters

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