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6 killed as migrant boat sinks off Turkey coast

A capsized boat is seen over Lake Van on December 26, 2019 in Bitlis, Turkey [Şener Toktaş - Anadolu Agency]
A capsized boat is seen over Lake Van on December 26, 2019 in Bitlis, Turkey [Şener Toktaş - Anadolu Agency]

Six bodies have been recovered after a boat carrying migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan sank in Lake Van in eastern Turkey, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said today, CNN Turk reported.

Speaking to reporters in the eastern province, the minister said 11 people have been arrested in connection to the incident.

The lake is near the border with Iran, from where migrants often cross into Turkey on their journey towards Europe. Some 55-60 migrants are expected to have been on the boat at the time.

In December, seven people died and 64 were rescued when a boat carrying migrants also capsized in the lake.

Turkey has been a key transit point for migrants trying to reach Europe, many of them fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries.

Many rely on people’s smugglers and face dangerous land and sea routes which often result in deaths.

2020 sees Turkey set its sights on the Mediterranean

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