Five dead, five missing as migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast

Five people including three children have died after a boat carrying 15 migrants sank in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey’s western province of Izmir, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported on Monday.

A further five are missing, the Turkish coastguard has said, adding that search operations are under way. Two of the boats passengers swam ashore, and another three were picked up by the coastguard.

The boat was reportedly carrying 14 Afghans and one Iranian national before it sank.

Turkey plays an important role in the migrant route to Europe, and the Aegean Sea had a particularly high volume until Ankara agreed to limit numbers in a deal with the European Union in 2016.

Over 800 people died making the crossing when the flow of migrants on Aegean was at its peak in 2015.

Thousands of migrants who have applied for asylum in Europe remain in centres on Greek islands in the Aegean. Meanwhile, traffic has reportedly picked up on the road crossings from Turkey to its European neighbours since the deal was struck.
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