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Three drown as new migrant boat sinks off Greece: Coastguard

AFP , Sunday 25 Oct 2015
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At least three migrants -- two children and a woman -- drowned on Sunday when their boat sank off the Greek island of Lesbos, the coastguard said, the latest fatalities in Europe's refugee crisis.

Around a dozen others, mostly Afghans, are still missing after the rickety vessel, carrying 60 people, went down at dawn as it made the perilous crossing from Turkey, according to the Greek coastguard.

Many of those crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece do not know how to swim and are often equipped with poor-quality life vests, the coastguard said.

A patrol boat and a helicopter operated by European border agency Frontex found the lifeless bodies of the woman and two children.

Another search operation that began last night, aimed at finding a two-year-old Afghan boy who fell into the water somewhere between Turkey and Lesbos, has so far proven fruitless.

Despite worsening weather that has made the journey from Turkey to Greece even more dangerous, a record 48,000 refugees and migrants arrived this week in Greece, most of them in Lesbos, the International Organization for Migration said Friday.

Of more than 600,000 people who have reached Europe's shores this year in the continent's worst migration crisis since World War II, some 3,000 have died.

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