Four dead as migrant boat sinks off western Turkey: coast guard

by Reuters
Tuesday, 26 March 2019 07:16 GMT

ISTANBUL, March 26 (Reuters) - Four people, including a baby, died early on Tuesday morning when a dinghy carrying migrants sank off the northwestern coast of Ayvacik in Turkey, the Turkish coast guard said.

A search and rescue operation ended after the coast guard retrieved the 11 other migrants who were onboard, the coast guard said. Reuters video footage showed the surviving migrants, including at least one child, were later rushed wearing blankets aboard ambulances.

The boat was carrying Iranian and Afghan migrants, Hurriyet newspaper reported, citing security sources.

Turkey became one of the main launch points for migrants taking the sea route to European Union territory in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The movement was drastically curtailed by a 2016 accord between Ankara and the EU. (Reporting by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

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