Turkey: 12 dead, 31 rescued after migrant boat sinks

International

In this image taken from video made available by the Turkish Coastguard on Monday June 17, 2019, a coast guard boat approaches migrants in the Aegean Sea. A boat carrying migrants to Greece sank off the Turkish coast on Monday leaving at least eight migrants dead Turkey’s coast guard said. The coast guard said 31 other migrants were rescued after the boat sank in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Bodrum. (Turkish Coastguard via AP)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A boat carrying migrants to Greece sank off the Turkish coast on Monday, leaving at least 12 migrants dead, Turkey’s coast guard said.

The coast guard said 31 other migrants were rescued after the boat capsized in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Bodrum. The region is close to the Greek island of Kos.

The 12 bodies were found inside the wreck of the boat at a depth of 32 meters (105 feet), the coast guard said in a statement.

It said the search-and-rescue operation involving two coast guard boats, a helicopter and a team of divers, is continuing.

It was not immediately clear why the boat sank. There was no immediate information on the migrants’ nationalities.

Although the number of people heading to the Greek islands from the Turkish coast has decreased since the height of the refugee crisis in 2015, hundreds continue to make the crossing each week.

In Spain, the maritime rescue service said it rescued 292 migrants Monday who were attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe from North Africa.

Spain in recent years has become the biggest entry point for unauthorized migration to Europe.

However, Spanish Interior Ministry statistics show migrant arrivals are down by almost 18% on last year, at just over 8,800.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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