Another migrant boat tragedy leaves children washed up on Turkish beach | News | DW | 05.01.2016
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Another migrant boat tragedy leaves children washed up on Turkish beach

At least 21 migrants and refugees, many of them children, have drowned in two separate incidents. Some 3,770 people died during the sea voyage last year.

Turkish media showed shocking images of the children's lifeless bodies washed ashore on a beach near the resort town of Ayvalik, their life vests having failed to save them after an inflatable boat carrying an estimated 22 refugees capsized in rough seas early Tuesday morning.

Among the 14 dead was a 6-month pregnant woman, Dogan news agency reported.

After rescuing eight people from the frigid winter Aegean waters, the Turkish Coast Guard launched a search and rescue mission for anybody that may still be lost at sea.

The migrants embarked from near Ayvalik in an attempt to make the crossing to the Greek island of Lesbos.

District governor Namik Kemal Nazli told the semi-official Anatolian News Agency that officials believed the migrants were from Iraq, Syria and Algeria.

Separately, another boat in the same area capsized, drowning seven people including women and children, bringing the number dead to 21 for the day with expectations of finding more bodies.

The images of the children on the beach bore a startling resemblance to those of the three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, whose death last year prompted a public outcry to tackle the refugee crisis.

Nearly one million migrants sailed to Europe from Turkey or North Africa in 2015, many of them seeking asylum in Germany or Sweden. Some 3,770 migrants died during the sea voyage last year, making it the deadliest year on record.

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