23 May, Wednesday


Some 7 Afghan migrants die as boat sinks off western Turkey

World

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Seven Afghan migrants, including three children, died when a fiber boat carrying them sank off western Canakkale province early Tuesday, according to a security source.
 
The around 6-metre-boat, which was using an illegal route to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, sank off Babakale village in Ayvacik district, the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to media restrictions, said.
 
In total, there were 20 people aboard the ill-fated boat; 13 others, including an Iranian-origin suspected migrant smuggler, were rescued and brought to Babakale port, the Coast Guard Command said in its statement.
 
The suspected smuggler was later arrested.
 
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since the beginning of the civil war in Syria.


 
Among migrants held in 2017 in Turkey, the majority came from Pakistan -- around 15,000 -- followed by Afghans at around 12,000. Syrians totaled about 10,000.

 There has been a 60 percent increase in migrant flow since 2016. The number was 31,000 in 2016.

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