Two dead, dozens missing in Greece sinkings

2014-05-05 17:23
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Athens - Two migrant women have drowned and dozens remain missing after two dinghies carrying them towards Greek shores capsized in the Aegean, coastguard officials said Monday.

Some 65 migrants of unknown origin were attempting to make the crossing from neighbouring Turkey when their boats went down near the Greek island of Samos.

The authorities have so far picked up 36 survivors, including three women and a child, and the operation is ongoing, a coastguard spokesperson said.

The child was flown to an Athens hospital suffering from hypothermia.

The search is kept up by two helicopters and several vessels including two coastguard patrol boats, one from EU border agency Frontex and three fishing boats.

Greece is one of the main ports of entry into the EU for people fleeing war-torn and impoverished countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

People traffickers are using Greece's Aegean islands as a preferred route into Europe following a tightening of migration controls along its land border with Turkey.

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