Nine drown as refugee boat sinks off Turkey’s Aegean coast

Ankara, Jan 5 (IANS) At least nine refugees drowned early on Tuesday when a migrant boat sank off Turkey’s Aegean coast, the media reported.

The bodies of at least nine refugees washed up in Balikesir province, Xinhua cited the report as saying.

A total of 22 migrants had attempted to cross to Greece’s Lesbos Island, the report said.

Turkish coast guards were conducting a search and rescue mission for the other migrants, according to the report.

Over 3,000 refugees fleeing war-torn Syria have died on their way to Greek islands via Turkey, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Over 600,000 refugees have reportedly reached Greek islands in 2015, in a crisis that has alarmed the European Union.

The EU and Turkish leaders reached a deal in November for curbing the refugee influx from the Middle East to Europe.

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