Boat carrying migrants from Turkey to Greece sinks; 16 dead

French centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron thumbs up as he addresses his supporters at his election day headquarters in Paris, Sunday

"According to the pregnant woman, there were 25 people on board the boat that sank", the coastguard spokeswoman said.

A migrant boat sinking in the eastern Aegean between Greece and Turkey left at least 16 people dead, including two children, Greek authorities said Monday, while two people were rescued.

Frontex, the EU's border security agency, and Greek authorities have recovered eight bodies so far, including that of a child, while two women, one of them pregnant, have been rescued and transported to the island. Just over 4,800 people have crossed to Greece from Turkey this year, according to UNHCR data.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants have crossed into Greece from the nearby Turkish coast, hoping to head to more prosperous European countries.

Despite an EU-Turkey deal reached in March a year ago, asylum seekers still try to reach relatively prosperous Europe, although at a significantly reduced rate of 20 each day, according to the UNHCR.

They are believed to be the first confirmed deaths in Greek waters this year of migrants or refugees making the short but risky crossing from Turkey on overcrowded rubber dinghies.

In the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, some 1,000 refugees attended a soccer day Sunday in which they watched a live broadcast on giant screens of a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Violence has broken out in overcrowded camps on several occasions, as have protests against asylum delays.

A group of 12 Syrians of Kurdish origin started a hunger strike on Friday at the notorious Moria detention camp on the island of Lesbos.

An Iranian man died near the north-eastern city of Xanthi on Monday night after a van carrying him and 13 other migrants crashed while being chased by police.

Sophie Beau, the co-founder of rescue charity SOS Mediterranee, said NGOs were being forced to act by the "failure of European states", who should be increasing rescue capacity themselves.


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