September 27, 2019 / 12:38 PM / 2 months ago

Turkish women, children drown in boat capsize off Greek island

ATHENS (Reuters) - Seven Turkish nationals, two women and five children, drowned when a boat carrying them capsized near Greece’s Chios island on Friday, the coastguard said.

The coastguard did not provide details on the cause of the accident, which was among the deadliest of its kind in Greek waters this year.

Twelve people were rescued from the sea off Oinousses, a cluster of islets near Chios and about 8 kms (5 miles) from the Turkish coast.

In recent weeks, Greece has been dealing with a resurgence in refugee and migrant flows from neighboring Turkey. Nearly a million refugees fleeing war in Syria and migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece’s islands in 2015.

Turks have also attempted to cross to Greece in recent years following a failed coup attempt against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. It was not immediately clear whether those rescued had requested asylum.

More than 9,000 people arrived in August, the highest number in the three years since the European Union and Ankara implemented a deal to shut off the Aegean migrant route. More than 8,000 people have arrived so far in September.

Reporting by Karolina Tagaris and Renee Maltezou; Editing by Mark Potter and Dan Grebler

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