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Greek borders: dying migrants in the sea

More than 140 African immigrants feared dead: officials 22 hours ago

ANKARA (AFP) — At least 51 people would be immigrants drowned off the Turkish coast in one of three incidents that left at least 90 other Africans trying to get to Europe missing, officials said Monday.
As many as 85 people may have been aboard a 15-metre (45-foot) boat that capsized on Saturday in the Aegean Sea off the western Turkish town of Seferihisar, near Izmir, the Turkish coastguard said in a statement.
"We have so far found 51 bodies, among them two women," said Orhan Sefik Guldibi, the top administrative official in Seferihisar, who put the number on board at between 60 and 70.
Footage broadcast on the NTV news channel showed at least 15 bodies laid out on the shore in black bags.
Only six people, among them two Palestinians, were know to have survived the accident, Guldibi told AFP, adding that they had been hospitalized with shock.
The nationalities of the migrants were not immediately clear, but Guldibi said the majority were believed to be Palestinians, Somalis and Iraqis.
In a separate incident, some 40 Africans died in the Atlantic off Senegal as they were trying to reach the Spanish Canary Islands, police quoted survivors as saying.
They were aboard a boat that set off at the end of November from Diogue Island in southern Senegal with 130 people aboard. Only 90 were left when it ran aground north of Dakar on Saturday.
Police spokesman Colonel Alioune Ndiaye told AFP that survivors had spoken of 40 people who "died at sea and were thrown overboard" during the voyage.
"During seven days we did not eat or drink. Everyday people died. They were dying one after the other," said survivor Aliou, a Gambian.
In a third incident, at least 50 people were missing after another immigrant boat, also heading for the Canaries, sank.
Officials in the town of Dakhla, on the Western Sahara coast, said the boat had set out from Mauritania and sank on Saturday 28 nautical miles offshore.
Alerted by a Moroccan fishing boat, the Moroccan navy rescued six survivors, the officials said, adding that the search was continuing for more.
In October, an Italian-based monitoring group said nearly 1,100 migrants had lost their lives trying to reach the European Union so far this year. The group put the death toll since 1988 at 10,335.
A European Union border agency patrolling west African coasts since last year alongside several west African countries, has managed in 2007 to cut by more than 60 percent the number of migrants arriving in the Canaries.
"Many people died on the boat but I will go again," says Cheikh, a survivor of the boat that arrived in Senegal.
"African men are ready to die to go to Europe. We need money, there's no money in Africa," said the 17 year-old Gambian, dressed in T-shirt of US rapper 50 Cent.
Greek authorities meanwhile said Monday they had arrested 113 migrants, all male and all claiming to be Afghans, on the south-eastern Aegean island of Pserimos near the Turkish coast.
The 113 came ashore at dawn after abandoning their Turkish-flagged 12-metre wooden vessel and after escaping from two Greek patrol boats, authorities said.

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Subject: [Action2-l] greek borders: dying migrants in the sea
From: "Olga Laf"
Date: Tue, December 11, 2007 10:35 pm