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21 dead as migrant boat sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast; 15 missing

One pregnant woman who was rescued was taken to hospital but lost her baby

AFP | PTI  |  Istanbul 

Twenty-one people drowned and up to 15 more were missing today after a fishing boat carrying migrants sank off Turkey's coast, the coast guard said.

Forty migrants were rescued but search and rescue efforts were still under way to find seven to nine people missing in the incident off the Kefken district, the statement said. The area lies about 130 kilometres east of Istanbul.


One pregnant woman who was rescued was taken to hospital but lost her baby, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Mehmet Unal, a local official in the nearby town of Kandira, said the boat was believed to be carrying 70 migrants, most of whom were Iraqis.

Unconfirmed media reports said the migrants had boarded the boat in which lies further to the east, and were trying to cross into

The boat reportedly sank due to bad weather and rough waters. Western Turkey and the had been hit by a heavy storm and rains overnight.

Turkey has emerged as a hub for migrants from trouble zones around the world including Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan who are seeking a route west to the European Union.

In 2015, around a million people undertook risky sea journeys to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, mostly to Greece from Turkey over the Aegean Sea.

Thousands died in the perilous crossing. Responding to pressure, Turkey tightened its sea borders and cracked down on migrant smuggling rings as part of a 2016 deal with the

The numbers of migrants crossing the Aegean has now dwindled. But increasing numbers, now rising to hundreds within a month, are trying to cross the from Turkey to member

Some 834 migrants were caught and 10 smugglers detained in seven incidents between mid-August and early September, according to statistics published by Anadolu.

Separately, 237 migrants and five organisers were caught in two other incidents in the area whose timing was not specified.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, September 22 2017. 23:04 IST
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