At least 16 migrants killed in shipwreck near Greek island

Migrants arrive in Mytilene after crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the island of Lesbos, March 1, 2020.REUTERS/Elias Marcou

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SULAIMANI — At least 16 people died when a sailboat carrying migrants sank off the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea late on Friday (December 24), the latest in three accidents over as many days, the Associated Press said.

At least 62 people were rescued 8km off the island and survivors said about 80 people had been onboard, according to the AP. A search is ongoing for further survivors.

The death toll from the three shipwrecks is at least 30 and smugglers are currently choosing a more dangerous route between Turkey and Italy that bypasses the heavy patrols in Greece’s eastern Aegean islands.

UNHCR, cited by the AP, said 116,000 asylum-seekers crossed the Mediterranean to reach the European Union as of December 19, with the largest numbers heading for Italy.

(NRT Digital Media)