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Turkey: Up to 60 migrants feared dead after boat sinks

Turkey launched a search-and-rescue mission involving helicopters and boats after the boat carrying migrants across Lake Van was reported missing on June 27. Last year, seven migrants drowned while 64 others were rescued when their boat capsized in the lake, which is close to the border with Iran but lies within Turkey's borders.

PTI | Ankara | Updated: 01-07-2020 14:24 IST | Created: 01-07-2020 13:23 IST
Turkey: Up to 60 migrants feared dead after boat sinks
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

Up to 60 migrants may have been trapped in a boat that sank in an eastern lake last week, Turkey's interior minister said Wednesday. Turkey launched a search-and-rescue mission involving helicopters and boats after the boat carrying migrants across Lake Van was reported missing on June 27. So far rescue teams have recovered six bodies.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who traveled to Van to oversee the rescue operation, told reporters Wednesday that authorities estimated the boat was carrying between 55 and 60 migrants when it went down in stormy weather. A total of 11 other people have detained in connection with the tragedy, he said.

HaberTurk television said the migrants are believed to be from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Last year, seven migrants drowned while 64 others were rescued when their boat capsized in the lake, which is close to the border with Iran but lies within Turkey's borders. Smugglers are believed to be transporting migrants across the lake to escape police checkpoints on roads.

Turkey, which hosts about 3.7 million Syrian refugees, is the main crossing point for migrants trying to reach Europe.


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