Migrants missing in new boat sinking off Greece
Nearly 30 migrants were feared missing off the Greek island of Lesbos, the coastguard said Sunday, in the latest boat sinking in an ongoing Aegean Sea tragedy that has cost hundreds of lives.
The coastguard said it had rescued 20 people spotted in the water by a helicopter from EU border agency Frontex, but the survivors said another 26 people had been in the boat.
The state news agency ANA said there were children among those missing, but the coastguard declined to comment.
On Saturday, a five-year-old Syrian girl died in another attempted crossing from Turkey to Greece, and there were no news on another dozen people who were in the boat with her.
The accident again occurred east of the island of Lesbos, one of the Greek islands that has seen a heavy influx of refugees from war-torn Syria this year.
Many have perished trying to cross the Aegean Sea in search of a better future in Europe.
Earlier this month, harrowing pictures of three-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose body was found washed up on a Turkish beach after the boat carrying his family to the Greek island of Kos sank, caused an outpouring of emotion around the world, pressuring European leaders to step up their response to the refugee crisis.
The body of another four-year-old Syrian girl washed up on a beach in western Turkey on Friday.
Migrants have in recent days turned to Turkey’s land borders with Greece and Bulgaria to avoid the sea voyage that has cost over 2,600 people their lives in the Mediterranean this year.
Greece has seen over 300,000 refugees and migrants enter the country this year, most of them passing through to other European countries.