The bodies of refugees who died after their boats overturned in rough seas have been seen washed up on the beaches of Turkey. Two separate incidents are believed to have killed 21 refugees trying to reach the Greek island, with several bodies, including children, being washed ashore.
Authorities say the boats were trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Nine bodies washed up on a beach in the resort town of Ayvalik early on Tuesday morning, prompting authorities to dispatch coast guard boats and gendarmerie officials to search the area by sea and by land for possible survivors.By late morning, the death toll reached 14, the coast guard said, adding that seven other migrants were either rescued or found alive.
Hours later, the private Dogan news agency reported that seven other bodies had washed up on shore at Dikili, a resort about 30 miles south of Ayvalik, the victims of a second migrant tragedy. The dead included women and children, the agency said. Around 850,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece last year, paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in frail boats. Hundreds have lost their lives during the crossings.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that 3,771 migrants overall have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe last year. The final number for 2015, released on Tuesday, was up from the 3,692 figure the agency released before Christmas. Kudos Metro Uk