Seventeen Syrian refugees drowned Sunday when their boat sank in Turkish waters on its way to Greece, while the Italian coastguard said it had rescued some 500 migrants in the Mediterranean this weekend.
The bodies of the dead Syrians, including five children, were discovered by the Turkish coastguard inside the cabin of their wooden boat, which had set off from the holiday resort town of Bodrum for the Greek island of Leros.
Another 20 migrants, who were on the boat’s deck and had been wearing life jackets, survived and swam back to the Turkish coast, Dogan said. They were taken to a morgue in Bodrum to identify their drowned relatives.
The tragedy came as the Italian coastguard launched seven operations in the Mediterranean over the weekend, plucking some 500 migrants from the water.