ATHENS - Hundreds of migrants were rescued from a sinking ship off the island of Crete in the southern Mediterranean on Friday, the Greek coastguard said.
It was impossible to speculate how many people might be unaccounted for, the coastguard said. State broadcaster ERT carried unsourced accounts the vessel was carrying anything between 500 and 700 people.
The death toll in the southern Mediterranean has mounted in recent weeks by migrants attempting sea crossings from North Africa to Europe this year. More than 2,000 people have died.
Greek authorities said 340 people were rescued, but nine bodies were also recovered in a location about 75 nautical miles off southern Crete, in territory which falls under Egypt's search and rescue jurisdiction.
There was no immediate official word on how many people may be missing and Greek coastguard officials declined to speculate.
It was not immediately clear where the boat had sailed from.