Six children die in Turkey migrant sinking

Alan (left), 3, his brother Ghalib, 5, and their mother died trying to get to Greece from Bodrum

Alan (left), 3, his brother Ghalib, 5, and their mother died trying to get to Greece from Bodrum

Six children, including a baby, died when a dinghy carrying Afghan migrants capsized off Turkey, reports say.

The Turkish coastguard rescued eight others from the Aegean Sea near the western city of Izmir.

The latest tragedy came a day after the body of a young girl was found washed up on a nearby beach.

More than 3,500 people have died or have reported missing this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

One in four of those who died was a child, according to the UN refugee agency.

It says 911,487 refugees and migrants have reached the EU since January, the vast majority crossing from Turkey to nearby Greek islands.

Turkish media say the alarm was raised in the early hours of today, after the dinghy had gone down a short distance from the coastal town Cesme.

The town’s beaches are regularly used by migrant boats heading for the island of Chios.

The body of five-year-old Sajida Ali was found on Monday washed up on a beach at Cesme and it was assumed she had also died in a failed attempt to reach Chios. Her body was due to be returned to her family, Dogan news agency reported.

Three months ago, the discovery of three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body on another Turkish beach at Bodrum provoked a wave of sympathy for the plight of refugees trying to reach Europe by sea. His mother and five-year-old brother also drowned.

The Syrian Kurdish family had fled to Turkey after repeated attacks by Islamic State jihadists.

The influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants into Greece since August prompted an agreement last week under which the EU will pay Turkey €3bn (£2.1bn) towards the cost of Syrian refugees while Turkey will try to reduce the numbers crossing into Greece.

–BBC

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