The refugee crisis has claimed another twenty two lives, including four children, as a wooden boat capsized in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast.
The boat had the capacity to hold 50-60 people, but was carrying 271 people.
Press TV reports: The 20-meter (66-foot) boat carrying 271 refugees – almost five times more than its capacity – had set off from the resort town of Datça overnight but went down on Tuesday morning about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) off the Turkish resort town of Bodrum, in international waters between Datça in Turkey and the Greek island of Kos, where tens of thousands of other refugees have arrived in recent weeks.
Amir Çiçek, the governor of Bodrum, said that search and rescue operation had been completed and a total of 249 refugees rescued, adding that 11 women and four children were among the drowned victims trapped under the boat.
The asylum seekers, whose nationalities remain unknown, hoped to reach Kos and thence to the Greek mainland and Western Europe.
Meanwhile, the global aid charity Save the Children urged Spain to help hundreds of Syrian refugee children reach Spanish soil in North Africa.
“A thousand Syrians who have fled war, most of them children, are stuck in the Moroccan cities of Nador and Beni Ansar waiting for the Moroccan police to let them enter Melilla,” a Spanish territory bordering northern Morocco, the charity said in a statement.
On Sunday a boat carrying 34 refugees (half of whom were children and small babies) capsized off the coast of a Greek island. Many of the refugees drowned in what the coastguard is saying is largest toll in those waters since the crisis started.