At least 14 people killed as boat capsizes off Greece

Doris Richards
March 17, 2018

The six bodies initially recovered included four children, one man and a woman, while the bodies of a further eight people were recovered southeast of Agathonisi later Saturday morning.

"We can't tolerate losing children in the Aegean Sea. the solution is to protect people, to implement safe procedures and safe routes for migrants and refugees, to hit the human trafficking circuits", Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas said in a press release.

A boat that sank off a Greek island while smuggling migrants or refugees left at least 14 people dead Saturday, while a search and rescue operation was ongoing to locate more people believed missing.

He said there was a need for safe procedures for refugees and migrants while also cracking down on smuggling rings.

Another two migrants died near the land border with Turkey when the truck they were travelling in overturned trying to avoid a police check, authorities said.

The boat was ferrying migrants from Turkey to Greece.

The tragedy in the Aegean struck nearly two years to the day since the European Union and Turkey struck a multi-billion euro deal to curb the number of migrants and refugees trying to make their way to Europe.

It is the highest number of migrant casualties in months, after hundreds have lost their lives in recent years crossing the Mediterranean seeking to escape war, poverty or both.

The EU previous year reached deal with Turkey in 2016, which sharply reduced the number of people crossing to Greece.

Greece is detaining thousands of migrants in overcrowded squalid camps. many of whom are trying to apply for asylum.

Under the agreement, all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands must be returned to Turkey.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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