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Death toll in Greece migrant boat disaster rises to 21



Death toll in Greece migrant boat disaster rises to 21
16/12/2012 T1459
Greece: The death toll in the sinking of a makeshift boat carrying migrants off a Greek island near the Turkish coast rose to 21 Sunday after another body was found on a beach, police said.
Six people are still missing, a press officer with the Lesbos island policesaid.

The latest victim, a man, was found on the island's Thermi beach like all others before him.
Police continued to search for those missing on Sunday.

Rescuers on Saturday had found the bodies of 20 other men on the northern Lesbos beach, but their age was not given.

Only one 20-year-old survivor has been plucked out of the water and was hospitalised in the island capital Mytilene. He told investigators all those on board the boat which also carried women and children were from Afghanistan.

Greek public television Net said two women and two children had been among the passengers.
The group set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat during the night, about two miles off Lesbos.

The island is one of several in the eastern Aegean that lie near mainland Turkey and are frequent targets for migrants trying to reach Western Europe.

Migrants often perish trying to make the crossing in makeshift boats, particularly in winter.
Greek authorities and Frontex, the agency that helps border authorities from different EU countries work together, have tried to stem to flux of migrants since 2010.

On Saturday, year-long work on a 10.3-kilometre (6.4-mile) barbed-wire fence on the border between northeastern Greece and Turkey was finished, Petros Dagres, head of the Dagres Ate building company, told the Ana news agency.

The barrier is between 2.5 and three metres (8.2 and 9.8 feet) high.

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