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Two Children, One Man Found Dead After Migrant Boat Sinks off Greek Island

Two Children, One Man Found Dead After Migrant Boat Sinks off Greek Island

Thursday, 7 March, 2019 - 16:00
Photo: AFP
Athens- Asharq Al-Awsat
A man and his two children died on Thursday after attempting to reach Greece in a boat that probably sank off the Aegean island of Samos close to Turkey's coast, a Greek official said.

The Greek coast guard said it launched an air and sea search off the eastern Aegean Sea island after it was alerted about a boat in distress in the early morning hours. Rescuers found 11 people in the sea shortly later, including two brothers aged four and a half.

"The twins were in a bad condition", a coast guard official said adding that it was not yet clear what happened to the boat. The children later died.

The body of a man was later found in the water and was identified by witnesses as the father of the two.

It was unclear what caused the boat to sink in good weather conditions.

Hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond have made the perilous journey from the Turkish coast to a chain of Greek islands, a gateway into the European Union. Many have drowned.

More than a million people made the journey in 2015, although the numbers have since dropped sharply after a deal the following year between the EU and Turkey, which agreed to take back Syrian refugees and other asylum seekers who cross by sea.

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