Palestinian migrant boat sinks in Turkish waters

Nine Palestinians drown after boat coming from Lebanon sinks in Turkish territorial waters

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Nine people were killed after a boat leaving from Tripoli port, Lebanon sank in Turkish waters on Wednesday, carrying 40 Palestinian migrants from Syria.

According to Lebanon's state-run National News Agency, the boat that capsized had left the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus where the refugees were staying temporarily, however it is uncertain if the final destination of the migrants was in fact Turkey

Amongst the 40 people on the boat, women and children were also killed. Survivors were taken to hospitals with the assistance of the Turkish Coast Guard.  

“The Turkish coast guard assisted other survivors and took them to nearby hospitals,” one of the survivors said.

The International Organization of Migration (IOM)  says that an estimated 2,350 migrants have died on boats trying to reach Europe for a better life since the start of 2015.

According to Frontex, the EU border agency 107,500 migrants have passed the EU borders in July, a number that tends to increase day by day making a big difference compared to last year, where the numbers were only an estimated 70,000.

"This is an emergency situation for Europe that requires all EU member states to step in to support the national authorities who are taking on a massive number of migrants at its borders," Frontex director, Fabrice Leggeri said.

About 264,500 migrants have passed through the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 as the United Nations stated, a rather big increase since 2014 where according to the IOM the number was 219,000.

In the meantime, the European Union has approved funding to help EU members deal with the migrant crisis issue. The 4 billion euro ($2.6 billion) is given as first aid to struggling countries to cope with the rising migrant number that arrive in to the EU countries.

TRTWorld and agencies