Six Refugees Found Dead off Greek Island

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Six refugees found dead off Greek island on Saturday, as the number of people who have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean surpasses 60 in the first two weeks of 2016.

Six Refugees Found Dead off Greek Island

Six people, believed to have been refugees crossing the Mediterranean in an attempt to reach Europe, have been found dead off the eastern Greek island of Samos.

The bodies of two men and three women have been recovered by the Greek coast guard who are still trying to recover a sixth body in rough seas, a spokeswoman said Saturday, Daily Mailreported.

Earlier this week, nine refugees were found dead off the coast of Turkey, taking the number of people who have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean to more than 60 in the first two weeks of this year.

Samos, which lies very close to the Turkish coast, is one of the main points of entry for migrants and refugees, most refugees from Syria and Iraq.

While winter crossings are even riskier than in summer, thousands are still attempting to make them.

More than 24,000 crossed the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy in the first two weeks of January, said IOM spokesman Joel Millman.

On Thursday, the bodies of nine people, some of whom may have drowned up to 10 days earlier, were found on Turkey's western coast this week as the flow of Europe-bound migrants persisted despite rough winter weather and the efforts of the Turkish government.

The bodies of five men and a woman were found washed up on the shores of Seferihisar in the coastal province of Izmir on Tuesday, district governor Resul Celik said, adding that doctors believed they drowned five to ten days before.

The coastguard said separately it had found the bodies of a girl and two women near Ayvacik, further north, after a boat part-capsized. It rescued 13 people, but a search continued for two men and a boy.

More than a million migrants arrived in the European Union last year fleeing war or poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and nearly 3,700 died or went missing en route. The great majority came via Turkey to Greece.

Meanwhile, 48 people, mainly Syrian refugees, were rescued overnight while attempting to reach the Greek island of Agathonisi, Dodecanese, southeastern Agean Sea, overnight.

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