ANKARA (Web Desk) – At least 13 refugees have died after their boat collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast on Sunday, officials there said, while the Greek coast guard fanned out in the choppy waters of the Aegean Sea searching for another 27 people missing after their boat sank off the island of Lesbos, Aljazeera reports.
Coast guard officials said some 29 people were rescued in the two incidents, which followed another sinking near Lesbos on Saturday, in which a 5-year-old girl drowned. Between 10 and 12 people went missing.
Meanwhile, the Libyan coastguard said it rescued 215 refugees Sunday from two boats in the Mediterranean, including more than 50 women, a day after Italy said over 4,500 people were saved off Libya. The events highlight the risks that those fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are willing to take in hopes of reaching sanctuary in Europe. Men, women and children continue to take the perilous sea journey despite the fact that thousands of earlier refugees find themselves blocked by closed border crossings in the Balkans.
Hungary’s decision to shut its border with Serbia on September 15 set off a chain reaction in Croatia and Slovenia that has forced people fleeing violence in their homelands to rush from one European border to the next as they desperately try to find their way north before the rules change again.