Turkey: Refugee boat sinks off Turkish coast, 12 dead

CANAKKALE, (AA):  At least 12 people have drowned after a boat carrying refugees attempting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos sank in the Aegean Sea, Turkish official said on Saturday.

Canakkale Governor Hamza Erkal said the boat carrying more than 48 refugees — most of them reportedly Syrians — sank in the Turkish waters of the Aegean Sea as it was on its way to Greece.

The Turkish coast guard rescued 25 refugees from the wooden boat, which had set off from the Turkish resort town of Ayvacik, located in the western Canakkale province.

The coast guard crews have been searching for at least 11 other missing refugees, Erkal said.

Thousands of people — mostly refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict — have been trying to reach the Greek island Lesbos in order to reach Western Europe.

According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) report, almost 3,000 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, including 246 in the waters between Greece and Turkey.

Nearly 505,700 refugees have arrived in Europe by sea this year, most arriving in Greece, according to the IOM.

Author: Hatice Kesgin
[Photo: Members of Turkish Coast Guard cover the body of a refugee recovered in the Aegean Sea in Canakkale, Turkey on October 17, 2015.The incident occurred off Ayvacik district as an inflatable boat, packed with more than 50 people, sailed to the nearby Greek island of Lesbos. : Mehemet Yavas/Anadolu Agency]

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