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Four refugees die in Aegean Sea off Greece on way to Europe

17 October 2015 13:06



A total of four refugees, including three children, have lost their lives while trying to cross the Aegean Sea off the Greek coast en route to Europe.

The Greek coastguard said on Saturday that three children along with a woman drowned when their boat capsized close to the Greek island of Kalymnos in southeastern Aegean.

The nationalities of the victims were not mentioned in the reports.

The coastguard said another 11 people were rescued.

According to the latest figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), approximately 300 refugees have died in the Aegean Sea so far this year while making a journey to the European continent.

In a similar incident on Thursday, a wooden boat sank near the Greek island of Lesbos after colliding with a Greek coastguard vessel, leaving seven asylum seekers dead.

The body of an Iraqi refugee woman is covered with a towel as her husband and a relative mourn, following their arrival on the Greek island of Lesbos in a dinghy after crossing the Aegean Sea, October 16, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)


Separately, three other refugees, including a baby and a young girl, also lost their lives off Lesbos on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported an increase in the number of refugee boats arriving from Turkey.

“The surge in arrivals could be the result of a temporary improvement in the weather, a rush to beat the onset of winter, and a fear that European borders may soon close,” the UNHCR said.

Most of the asylum seekers who risk their lives to reach Europe are reportedly fleeing conflict-hit zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria. However, officials in the European countries are divided over how to deal with refugees.

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