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Turkey: 9 migrants die, 6 rescued in Mediterranean; 48 die near Tunisian coast

4th Jun 2018
Turkey: 9 migrants die, 6 rescued in Mediterranean; 48 die near Tunisian coast

By Leyla Ataman

 

ANTALYA, Turkey (AA): Nine migrants died, including 6 children, and six others were rescued after a speedboat sank in the Turkish Mediterranean, the Turkish Coast Guard said early Sunday.

The ministry said 68 people were rescued overnight after the boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea near Kerkennah island, off Tunisia’s eastern coast. Authorities said the vessel was believed to have been carrying about 180 passengers.

The incident took place last night around 2.22 a.m. local time (Saturday GMT2322), near Kekova Geyikova Island, two-and-a-half miles southwest of Demre, in the coastal province of Antalya, the coast guard command said in a statement.

After a fishermen alerted the coast guard to the emergency, four boats, one plane, and a helicopter were dispatched to the scene, the statement said.

Six migrants were rescued, but the coast guard found nine who had drowned.

The six rescued migrants are in the hospital for treatment, Murat Uz, a local official in Demre, told Anadolu Agency.

At a separate incidence, Tunisian authorities say a boat carrying migrants to Europe capsized near the island of Kerkenna off the coast of Tunisia.

48 people drowned, dozens are missing. 67 people have been rescued. There were around 180 people on the boat.

According to the UN 660 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean since January.

[Archive photo: 158 refugees rescued by Turkish coast guard in Aegean sea, shores of Ayvalik District of Balikesir on 18 January, 2016. Photographer: Hakan Firik/AA]

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