Twelve migrants missing after boat sinks off Turkey

Twelve migrants missing after boat sinks off Turkey

Istanbul: The Turkish coastguard was on Saturday searching for 12 illegal migrants missing after their boat sank off the Turkish Mediterranean town of Marmaris, the Dogan news agency reported.

Six migrants were rescued from the open boat and it was not immediately clear what the chances were of finding the 12 still missing. The nationality and itinerary of the migrants was not given.

Turkey, which already hosts 1.7 million Syrian refugees from the civil war, has become a key transit point for migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

Many pay people-smugglers thousands of dollars to travel towards EU states in small boats. But this has been fraught with danger.

Thirty seven migrants, believed mainly to be of Afghan origin, lost their lives in November when their overloaded boat sank in the Black Sea off Istanbul.

However in recent months there has also been a new trend for people-smugglers to use large cargo ships.

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