October 23, 2015 / 11:00 AM / 4 years ago

Lebanese navy stops second migrant boat in a week

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s navy stopped a boat carrying 35 Palestinian refugees to Turkey on Friday, the second time this week it has moved in to stop people apparently trying to travel on to Europe.

The boat, built for just 10 passengers, held 14 Palestinian refugees from Damascus, 21 from camps in Lebanon and a Lebanese citizen, the military said. The vessel was spotted was 2 miles (3 km) from the coast of southern Lebanon, it added.

More than half a million refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece this year by sea, including many fleeing violence in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan.

Lebanon, which hosts more than one million refugees from the Syrian conflict, is at peace but more than a quarter of Lebanese live below the poverty line and youth unemployment is high.

Seven members of one Lebanese family died trying to reach Greece by boat last week. They were buried on Thursday.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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