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Seven children among 13 killed as migrant boat sinks off Greek island

Published 23/12/2015

At least 820,000 refugees and economic migrants have reached Greece's eastern islands this year
At least 820,000 refugees and economic migrants have reached Greece's eastern islands this year

A small plastic boat carrying migrants from Turkey has sunk off an eastern Greek island, drowning at least 13 people, mostly children, Greek authorities said.

The coastguard said another 15 people were rescued, while a search is under way to locate one missing person. The dead were identified as seven children, four men and two women.

The accident occurred off the small Aegean Sea island of Farmakonissi. The cause of the sinking was not immediately clear.

The sinking came a day after Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported that 11 migrants attempting to reach the Greek island of Samos drowned after their boat capsized, including three children. Seven others were rescued.

The agency said Turkish coast guards spotted the refugees during a routine patrol.

The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migrants says more than a million people have entered Europe as of Monday. Almost all came by sea, while 3,692 drowned in the attempt.

At least 820,000 refugees and economic migrants have reached Greece's eastern islands this year. Nearly all have continued north, hoping for a better life in wealthier European countries.

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