Five Syrians killed as boat sinks off Turkey's coast

November 29, 2013 13:50

ISTANBUL - Five Syrians died and nine others were rescued after a boat sank off the coast of Turkey while trying to cross to the Greek island of Lesbos, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said.

The boat, carrying 14 Syrians believed to be fleeing the civil war in their homeland, sank in the early hours of Friday some five nautical miles (nine km) off the western province of Balikesir.

A two-month-old baby was among the dead, a spokesman for the Coast Guard Command said. None of those being treated in a local hospital were in critical condition.

Some 700,00 Syrians have taken refuge in Turkey from the war and more than 400,000 of them are living outside refugee camps.

Turkey, which shares a 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria, is a strong critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad and a major supporter of the rebels fighting against him.

The United Nations expects another 2 million Syrians to become refugees in 2014 and 2.25 million more to be displaced within their country.

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