7 migrants killed in boat sink off Turkish coast

ISTANBUL, May 15 (Xinhua) -- At least seven people, including two children, drowned late Monday when a boat carrying migrants to a Greek island sank off Turkey's Aegean coast, local media reported on Tuesday.

The boat was carrying at least 20 refugees to the Greek island of Lesbos when it capsized near Ayvacik district of Turkey's northwestern province of Canakkale, the Haberturk daily said, noting 13 of them have been rescued.

Ambulances and coast guard teams were dispatched to the area and the rescue operation was continuing, according to the daily.

The Aegean Sea was once a main route for migrants being smuggled into Europe via Turkey, but a deal signed between Turkey and the European Union in March 2016 has reduced the flow of illegal migration.

The Turkish coast guard put the number of irregular migrants via Turkey at 9,272 since the beginning of the year, in contrast to 4,715 over the same period in 2017.

[ Editor: zyq ]


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