Three babies among six dead as boat capsizes off Turkish coast

Nine people were rescued by the coast guard overnight

Turkish first aid officials carry injured refugees as a man holds his child at Tasucu port in Mersin, south-central Turkey, on July 18, 2018 after a boat carrying migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea off the north of Cyprus. At least 19 migrants drowned and up to 30 were missing on July 18 after their boat sank in the Mediterranean off the north of Cyprus, local security forces said. The boat was carrying 150 people, reportedly Syrians, when it went down off the coast of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot-controlled portion of the island, which is only recognised by Ankara.  - Turkey OUT
 / AFP / DHA / -
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Six people, including three babies, died on Sunday when an inflatable boat carrying 16 people capsized off the coast of western Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Nine people were rescued by the coast guard overnight, it said, adding that search and rescue efforts were continuing for one missing person after the incident off the coastal province of Ayvalik.

The boat was believed to be en route to Greece's Lesbos island which is around 20 kilometres away from the Turkish coast, it said.

From January to July this year, at least 54 irregular migrants died trying to cross to Europe from Turkey, according to coast guard statistics.

According to a local official, the people who were trying to cross to the Greek island were Turkish citizens and two of them are believed to be illegal crossing organisers, Anadolu reported.


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