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Turkish coastguard says five migrants die as their boat sinks in Aegean

ANKARA/ATHENS: The coastguard said five migrants died when a dinghy sank off the coast of southwest Turkey on Saturday, adding that it had rescued 11 people, while Greece said five more migrants from the same wreck were discovered on a nearby island.

The Turkish coastguard said it arrived at the scene at 6:20 a.m. after learning that a boat was taking in water (0320 GMT). It rescued 11 people, including a child, and transported them to Didim port to be handed over to medical personnel.

Turkey informed the Greek coastguard about those rescued from a “half-sunken dinghy” in Turkish waters. It was reported that five people were discovered alive on the island of Farmakonisi, about 19 kilometers (12 miles) off the coast of Didim.

According to those who were rescued, there were a total of 31 people on the boat, according to the Greek coastguard. The Turkish and Greek coastguards both stated that search and rescue operations were ongoing.

More than 1,300 migrants were rescued in three separate operations off the southern tip of Italy, the Italian coastguard said on Saturday, two weeks after at least 74 people died when their boat collided with rocks near the coast.

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