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Cyprus forces migrant boat to return to Lebanon

Refugees seen at a camp in Cyprus on 5 November 2019 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]
Refugees seen at a camp in Cyprus on 5 November 2019 [IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/AFP/Getty Images]

Cypriot authorities forced a boat carrying 56 migrants to return to Lebanon from where they had set off on Sunday.

Authorities checked the documents of those onboard the boat after it was spotted 16 nautical miles south of Cyprus' Cape Greco on Sunday. Coast guard vessels were sent along with nurses and translators. They found 39 men, seven women and ten children onboard. Their nationalities have not been made public.

The Cyprus Mail reported that the boat had initially tried to head for the Cypriot port of Protaras but was "denied entry to the Republic" and was told to turn back to Lebanon.

This is the third such case, in which migrant boats have been forced to return to Lebanon while on their way to Cyprus, German news agency DPA reported. Lebanon, Cyprus has repeatedly said, a safe third country for migrants to live and return to.

READ: IOM: 5 migrants drown off Libya coast

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