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Police clear cruise ship of rescued migrants who refused to disembark

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In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

AP

A policeman walks as a ship, that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus, arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A policeman walks as a ship, that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus, arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

AP

Policemen enter a cruise ship that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus as it arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Policemen enter a cruise ship that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus as it arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

AP

A group of migrants disembark from a cruise ship that rescued them from a stranded, smaller boat off the southwestern coast of the east Mediterranean island on Thursday, September 25, 2014.  (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A group of migrants disembark from a cruise ship that rescued them from a stranded, smaller boat off the southwestern coast of the east Mediterranean island on Thursday, September 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

AP

This Sept. 25, 2014 photo taken from a cruise ship that rescued the migrants from a stranded shows migrants on a small boat off the southwestern coast of the east Mediterranean island.   (AP Photo/Haris Milonas)

This Sept. 25, 2014 photo taken from a cruise ship that rescued the migrants from a stranded shows migrants on a small boat off the southwestern coast of the east Mediterranean island. (AP Photo/Haris Milonas)

AP

This Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 photo taken from a cruise ship that rescued the migrants from a small boat stranded off the east Mediterranean island's main Limassol port, Cyprus, shows apparent refugees on the boat. (AP Photo/Haris Milonas)

This Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 photo taken from a cruise ship that rescued the migrants from a small boat stranded off the east Mediterranean island's main Limassol port, Cyprus, shows apparent refugees on the boat. (AP Photo/Haris Milonas)

AP

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In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

Officers from an elite Cyprus police squad have boarded a cruise ship and cleared it of hundreds of rescued migrants, apparently Syrian refugees, who had refused to disembark and insisted on being taken to Italy.

Police spokeswoman Nicoletta Tyrimou said a number of negotiators peacefully removed nearly 300 people from the ship in a pre-dawn operation after hours of negotiations aimed at getting them to leave on their own failed.

In all, 345 people, including 52 children, will remain at a reception centre near the capital, Nicosia, until authorities determine what will happen to them.

The Cypriot cruise ship had rescued the people from a small vessel which put out a distress call early yesterday amid rough seas off the south-western coastal town of Paphos.

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Policemen enter a cruise ship that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus as it arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

Policemen enter a cruise ship that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus as it arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

AP

Policemen enter a cruise ship that picked up some 345 migrants from a small boat stranded off the southwestern coast of Cyprus as it arrives at the Mediterranean island's port of Limassol on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

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In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

AP

In this photo provided the Cypriot Defense Ministry, a small vessel loaded with 353 people who are believed to be refugees fleeing Syria lies around 50 nautical miles southwest of Cyprus' coast on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Cypriot Defense Ministry, HO)

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