18 refugees drown in Aegean Sea off Turkey

Ankara, Dec 19 (IANS) Eighteen refugees drowned and 14 others were rescued as their boat capsized off Turkey’s Aegean coast, the media reported on Saturday.

The boat carried Syrian, Pakistani and Iraqi refugees, Xinhua cited the report as saying.

Turkish coast guards on Friday sent 14 refugees to hospitals in Bodrum, said the report.

Some 80,000 refugees were rescued off Turkish coasts this year alone, while more than 3,000 died on their way to Greek islands via Turkey, the Turkish coast guard said.

Over 600,000 refugees have reportedly reached Greek islands so far this year, in a crisis that has alarmed the European Union.

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