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Middle East

Eight drown as immigrant boat sinks off Turkey

File - A Turkish coast guard boat, left in the foreground, at the port of the BOTAS liquefied natural gas, LNG, import terminal in Marmara Ereglisi, near the city of Tekirdag, western Turkey, Jan. 8, 2009.(AP Photo/Murad Sezer)

ISTANBUL: Eight people died, including a child, and five others were missing on Wednesday after a boat carrying migrants towards Greece capsized off western Turkey, local media reported.

The nationalities of those onboard were not immediately known but media reports said they were believed to be Syrians.

Three people were rescued and taken to a nearby hospital after the accident off the Turkish western city of Izmir, the Cihan news agency said.

Turkey, which hosts about 750,000 Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country, has become a hub for migrants seeking access to Europe.

Neighbouring Greece is the busiest entry point for migrants into the European Union.

But the journey across the Mediterranean is frequently perilous, and hundreds of migrants drown en route each year.

 

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