The Turkish Coast Guard rescued some 43 migrants attempting to illegally cross into Europe after their boat went adrift in the AegeanSea, security sources said Wednesday. Coast guard squads rescued the Afghan, Iranian, Pakistani migrants off the coast of the northwestern Edirne province after learning an inflatable boat with children aboard was in trouble. All the migrants were referred to the provincial migration office after health checks, said the sources.
Separately, a group of 51 migrants trying to illegally cross to Greece were held in western Turkey when their boat ran aground. The boat, intercepted in the Çanakkale province, had been trying to cross the Aegean Sea to Lesbos island, said the sources. Acting on a tip, gendarmerie teams on the coast of the Ezine district noticed a boat flying a Russian flag had run aground. The gendarmerie held the migrants, of Afghan, Iraqi and Syrian origins, and arrested two Ukrainians and three Russians on suspicion of human trafficking.
Turkey has been the main route for migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.
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