Toll rises to 39 in refugee boat tragedy in Aegean Sea

Istanbul, Jan 30 (IANS) At least 39 refugees drowned as their boat capsized in the Aegean Sea early Saturday while heading to the Greek island of Lesbos, the media reported.

Initially 10 people were reported dead, among them five children, and 43 were reported rescued when the 17-metre-long boat overturned off Bademli coast, Xinhua reported.

The boat carried over 100 refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Myanmar. The Turkish coast guard rescued 62 people from the sea.

A Turkish man was detained for organising the trip and a probe was underway, the report said.

Over 80,000 refugees were saved off Turkish coasts in 2015 alone, while more than 3,000 died on their way to Greek islands via Turkey, the Turkish coast guard said.

On Thursday, 24 people, among them 10 children, died off Greece’s Samos island when a boat carrying migrants from Turkey to Greece capsized.

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