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Twenty die after migrant boat capsizes

Coast guard officers on Saturday recovered the bodies of 20 immigrants off the coast of Lesvos in the eastern Aegean following the sinking of their vessel amid high winds.

A spokeswoman for the Port Authority said the 20 male corpses had been drawn out of the sea and from the shore and that another seven people were being sought.

According to the spokeswoman, a survivor found on Friday said a total of 28 people had been on the boat, including women and children. The boat appears to have sunk amid high winds and choppy waters, she said. The rescue operation began on Friday and will continue until the missing are accounted for, she added.

The ethnic origin of the immigrants remained unclear, according to the spokeswoman who did not confirm media reports that two Turkish smugglers had been on board the vessel.

Lesvos is one of a handful of islands in the eastern Aegean that would-be migrants attempt to reach in their bid to reach Europe from Turkey.

The exact number of would-be immigrants who have lost their lives trying to sneak into Greece is unclear but dozens have drowned in recent years.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday December 15, 2012 (17:49)  
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