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1ST LEAD Death toll above 20 after migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast By Ergin Hava, dpa

Europe
22.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - At least 21 people are dead after a fishing boat carrying migrants sank off Turkey‘s Black Sea coast Friday, according to the country‘s coastguard.

The boat capsized near the coastal town of Kefken in north-western Turkey. The coastguard said that 40 people had been rescued.

The nationalities of those on board was unclear, as were their destinations.

Rescue teams were still searching for five people reported missing. Coastguard boats and commercial ships were taking part in the search along with a helicopter and a plane.

While Turkey‘s Aegean coast is popular with people smugglers to send Syrians and other refugees to the Greek islands, a growing number of migrants departing from Turkish coasts have recently been trying to reach Romania by way of the Black Sea.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said that new migration routes are appearing through Romania and Spain in an effort to circumvent EU efforts to curb migration in the central and eastern Mediterranean.

Earlier this month, Romania‘s coastguard rescued a group of 157 Iraqi and Iranian migrants, 56 of them children, from a boat drifting on the Black Sea.

Instead of sending migrants by land from Turkey through Bulgaria and Serbia, traffickers are now putting them on boats bound for Romania.

 

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