ANKARA, (AP): Paramilitary police on Turkey’s coast with Lesbos have begun to place victims in black body bags as their corpses wash ashore. Among the dead seen by journalists is a young boy.
The state-run Anadolu news agency says the death toll in Saturday’s latest migrant boat sinking has risen to 39. Officials at the government offices for Turkey’s Canakkale district say the death toll has risen above the previously announced figure of 33, but are declining to offer a new specific figure as coast guard vessels and diving units continue to search the sea.
Photographers at the scene say police have taken some survivors to a local hospital for treatment for hypothermia and other injuries, other survivors into detention for questioning.
Updated: Turkey’s state-run news agency says at least 33 people, including five children, have drowned in the Aegean Sea after their Greece-bound boat capsized off the Turkish coast.
Anadolu Agency says coast guards rescued 75 others from the sea Saturday near the resort of Ayvacik en route to the Greek island of Lesbos.
The agency has identified the survivors as natives of Afghanistan, Syria and Myanmar.
The International Organisation for Migration says 218 people have died this year while trying to cross by sea from Turkey to Greece.
Turkey is hosting an estimated 2.5 million refugees from Syria.
In November, Turkey agreed to fight smuggling networks and stem the flow of migrants into Europe. In return, the EU has pledged 3 billion euros ($3.25 billion) to help improve the refugees’ conditions.
:: The lifeless body of a migrant boy lies on the beach near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Canakkale, Turkey, on Saturday, January 30, 2016. (Photo: AP)
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