11 drowned as boat sinks off Greek island

Jan 2, 2016
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The figure consists of greater than 34,000 arrivals by land from Turkey in to neighboring Greece & Bulgaria, or exclusively about three.5% of the full this yr. A lot of the 2,889 deaths this yr took place on the Mediterranean between northern Africa & Italy, the IOM stated. Twenty percent were Afghans, and seven percent were Iraqis, fleeing violence and the U.S.-backed wars in their respective countries. Another 14 migrants were missing, it added.

The Geneva-based International Organisation for Migrants says more than a million people have entered Europe as of Monday. Others who came to find work risk being sent back. Some perished anonymously in shipwrecks that killed hundreds. A one-year old baby was among those rescued.

The Turkish coast guard says eight migrants, including children drowned at sea near the Aegean city of Izmir.

“The number of people displaced by war and conflict is the highest seen in Western and Central Europe since the 1990s”, it said, referring to conflicts in the former Yugoslavia.

Officials in European countries are struggling to forge a united response to the record numbers of refugees.

Over the summer, some eastern European countries opened and closed their borders, leading to widespread confusion and frustration, before a relatively orderly system emerged in the fall.

Along with Germany, Sweden is one of the main destinations of choice, with approximately 150,000 applying for asylum in 2015.

The number represents a fourfold rise on the total previous year. Worsening weather conditions in the winter make the trip even more risky. “As night falls and temperatures drop to about 6 degrees Celsius (43 Fahrenheit) or lower, groups of people huddle among piles of suitcases, burning pieces of cardboard to keep warm”.

Fifteen of the passengers were saved by rescuers while another two are still missing, according to Greek authorities.

A group of migrants protests at the border with Greece near Gevgelija Macedonia

 

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