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At least 10 refugees drown when a boat sinks in Aegean Sea

23 December 2015 10:16


At least ten refugees, including five children, have drowned when their boat sank off the Greek Aegean island of Farmakonissi.

The latest Aegean Sea tragedy occurred early Wednesday morning, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported, adding that 13 refugees were rescued, but two others are still missing in the Aegean Sea.

On Tuesday, another boat sank off coast of Turkey, leaving 11 refugees dead. Three children were among the victims.

Some 700 people, many of them children, have lost their lives while trying to cross the Aegean to Greece this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). A majority of over 800,000 refugees have, however, landed in Greece this year.

The total number of refugees entering Europe by land or sea has reached more than one million this year.

Many of the refugees arriving in Europe are Syrians fleeing a foreign-backed militancy in their country. Afghans, Iraqis and Eritreans constitute the other major groups of refugees.

The issue of refugee crisis has caused significant political rifts within the European Union (EU) which in September imposed a plan to resettle 160,000 refugees across the EU bloc. Hungary and Slovakia are taking legal action at the European Court of Justice to challenge the EU quota plan, which has obliged them to accept about 2,300 refugees each.

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