News World Nine migrants found washed up

Nine migrants found washed up

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The bodies of nine people, some of whom may have drowned up to 10 days earlier, have been found on Turkey’s western coast this week as the flow of Europe-bound migrants persists despite rough winter weather and the efforts of the Turkish government.

The bodies of five men and a woman were found washed up on the shores of Seferihisar in the coastal province of Izmir on Tuesday, district governor Resul Celik said, adding that doctors believe they drowned five to 10 days before.

The coastguard said separately it had found the bodies of a girl and two women near Ayvacik, further north, after a boat part-capsized.

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It rescued 13 people, but a search continues for two men and a boy.

More than a million migrants arrived in the European Union last year fleeing war or poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and nearly 3700 died or went missing en route.

The great majority came via Turkey to Greece.

While winter crossings are even riskier than in summer, thousands are still attempting to make them.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 24,000 crossed the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy in the first two weeks of January, and its spokesman Joel Millman said 58 deaths had been recorded as of January 12.

Reuters TV footage on Thursday showed a group of around 70 people including children, some wet and shaking, rounded up near the harbour by the coastguard at Ayvacik.

It showed another group of people including women and children preparing to sail from the same location in a boat with a plastic barrel attached to it, using a shovel to paddle away.

Dogan News Agency later reported these were among almost 100 people who made it to the Greek island of Lesbos from Ayvacik on Thursday.

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