Twelve migrants drown off Greek coast after boat capsizes; some Syrians aboard

By REUTERS
November 15, 2013 14:22
1 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

ATHENS - Twelve migrants, including four children, drowned on Friday after their boat capsized just off a Greek island, the coastguard said, adding to the hundreds of deaths this year of people attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing.

Greece is a major gateway into the European Union for migrants from Africa and the Middle East, who cross the sea often in unsafe boats. The breakdown of order in Libya and the civil war in Syria have increased the human traffic.

"The immigrants called police on their mobile to say their boat was in distress," a coastguard official told Reuters.

The coastguard found fifteen survivors on the shore opposite the Ionian island of Lefkada and recovered 12 bodies, four of them children aged between three and six, another official said. Four bodies were found trapped in the 7-8 meter (7-8 yard) long fiberglass boat.

Some of the survivors said they were Syrians, one coastguard official said.

Hundreds of Eritreans and Somalis drowned earlier this month when a boat sank less than a kilometer (half a mile) from Lampedusa, a tiny island between Sicily and Tunisia which has become the main entry point into Europe for migrant boats.

Crisis-hit Greece, Italy and Malta, the EU's gate-keepers, have repeatedly pressed European Union partners to do more to solve the migrant crisis, which the Maltese prime minister said was turning the Mediterranean into a "cemetery".

Greece has long struggled with illegal immigration, a situation worsened by a deep economic crisis that has boosted anti-immigrant sentiment among Greeks. Athens has vowed to make the issue a priority next year, when first Greece, then Italy hold the EU's rotating presidency.

"For years now, Greece has been dealing with waves of illegal immigration but this is not only a Greek issue anymore," government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Friday.

"The new tragedy outside Lefkada, with young children among the victims, confirms the need to immediately implement European Union initiatives to deal with illegal immigration."

Related Content

Breaking news
August 17, 2018
Defense Minister Liberman currently at the Kirya for Gaza security update

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF