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Bodies wash up on Turkey's coast

Drowned bodies were washed ashore in the Ayvalik district of Balikesir, Turkey [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2016

At least 17 migrants including children have drowned when their boats sank as they tried to cross the sea from Turkey into Greece.
At least 17 bodies of drowned migrants, including children, were found on Tuesday, washed up on Turkey's western coast.

Boats taking the would-be refugees across the Aegean Sea towards Greece sank in bad weather, according to Dogan, a Turkish news agency.

Ten bodies were found on the shore near the resort of Ayvalik, Dogan reported.

In a separate incident, seven bodies were found off the resort of Dikili, just to the south.

Read more: As 2016 dawns, migrant flows set to continue

Turkish coastguards were dispatched to search for any possible survivors, and eight people were rescued from the sea.

There was no immediate information on the nationalities of those involved.

Other reports put the toll at 21, including three children.

A two-year-old boy who drowned on Sunday became the first known refugee casualty of 2016.

Nearly 850,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece last year, most paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in fragile boats.
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