Greece: 15 migrants killed in worst accident in months

Greece: 15 migrants killed in worst accident in months

Fourteen people, among them at least four children, drowned on Saturday after a wooden boat carrying refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greece sank off the coast of Agathonissi island in the Aegean Sea, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

Hundreds of refugees and migrants participate in a anti-racist demonstration in Athens on March 17, 2018, marking as well two-years of the EU-Turkey deal and the closing of the borders.

Dimitris Vitsas, Greece's migration minister, said: "We can't tolerate losing children in the Aegean Sea".

The search and rescue mission for those missing included private boats, three aircraft, a European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) vessel, as well as Hellenic Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

Greek authorities said they believed there were 22 people on the boat.

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It is the highest number of migrant casualties in months, after hundreds have lost their lives in recent years crossing the Mediterranean seeking to escape war, poverty or both.

The EU-turkey deal has been criticised by humanitarian groups deterring people from coming who under global law must be granted asylum, such as those fleeing war-torn countries like Syria.

More than one million people have landed on Greek shores and continued their journey to other European countries.

Greece is also detaining thousands of migrants in overcrowded squalid camps.

Under the deal, anyone who arrives on Greek islands must be returned to Turkey unless they qualify for asylum.

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