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Nine children among 18 dead as migrant boat sinks off Greek island

Published 28/01/2016

Greece is the main gateway into Europe for refugees and migrants (AP)
Greece is the main gateway into Europe for refugees and migrants (AP)

Eighteen people, half of them children, have died after a migrant boat sank off an eastern Greek island, the country's coast guard said.

Nine children were among the dead - four girls and five boys - while eight men and one woman also died, the coast guard said.

Vessels from the European border agency Frontex are assisting the Greek coast guard in the search for others possibly missing, after 10 people were rescued off the island of Samos.

Despite toughening European border controls, refugees and migrants have continued to travel to the Greek islands near the Turkish coast at a rate of roughly 1,500 per day since the beginning of the year, braving the bad weather in dinghies and old wooden boats.

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