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Toll in migrant shipwreck off Greece rises to 7

By AFP
24 December 2021   |   12:47 pm
The death toll from a migrant boat sinking of Greece rose to seven on Friday, as scores of others, including dozens of children, were rescued following the shipwreck, the coastguard said.

File photo: 10,000 people whose boats have capsized. (AFP Photo/)

The death toll from a migrant boat sinking of Greece rose to seven on Friday, as scores of others, including dozens of children, were rescued following the shipwreck, the coastguard said.

The boat carrying migrants ran aground on an islet north of the Greek island of Antikythera on Thursday evening.

Seven bodies have been recovered so far and another 90 people stranded on the islet were rescued overnight, an official from the coast guard told AFP.

Those rescued include 27 children, 11 women and 52 men.

“The search and rescue operation continues, as it is still not clear how many were on the boat before it sank,” the official said.

Thursday’s shipwreck came the day after a dinghy carrying migrants capsized off the island of Folegandros, killing at least three people.

Thirteen people were rescued, while dozens remain missing, Greek authorities said.

Survivors gave conflicting accounts, some telling authorities there were originally 32 people aboard, while others put the number at around 50, a coastguard official told AFP.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said the Folegandros accident was the worst in the Aegean Sea this year.

“This shipwreck is a painful reminder that people continue to embark on perilous voyages in search of safety,” said Adriano Silvestri, the UNHCR’s assistant representative in Greece.

The UNHCR estimates that more than 2,500 people have died or gone missing at sea in their attempt to reach Europe from January through November this year.

Nearly one million people, mainly Syrian refugees, arrived in the EU in 2015 after crossing to Greek islands close to Turkey.

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