02 November 2009

Death toll in migrant sea tragedy hits nine

Hurriyet Daily News

ATHENS, 2 Nov 2009 - Greek police said Sunday they had found the body of a migrant near the island of Lesbos, bringing to nine the death toll from the sinking of a boat several days earlier. The vessel sank on Tuesday and the initial toll stood at eight people, all women and children.

"The body of a man, aged around 30, was discovered close to rocks northeast of the island," a statement from port police said Sunday.

The boat contained 20 migrants who carried no papers but claimed to be Afghan.
Rescuers on Sunday continued searches near Lesbos for a child still thought to be missing.

Ten people were rescued after Tuesday's accident, including a Turkish citizen who was trying to smuggle the migrants over the border. They were all taken to hospital on the island.

Thousands of would-be migrants and asylum seekers from war-torn countries in Africa and Central Asia try to cross from Turkey into Greece every year in small boats and inflatable dinghies, but many do not survive.