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Friday, 22 January 2016 - 16:47
More Than 20 Dead As Migrant Boats Capsize
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At least 21 people die en-route to a new life in Europe after boats capsize off two Greek islands.

The Greek coast guard says at least 21 people died when boats smuggling migrants capsized in two separate incidents.

A search and rescue operation is under way after the two wooden boats sank.

The first, carrying 48 people, went down in the early hours of Friday off the island of Farmakonissi. Forty made it to shore, one girl was rescued, and seven bodies were recovered from the sea.

In a separate incident a boat carrying an unknown number of people sank off the island of Kalolimnos.

Some 26 people were rescued and 14 bodies were recovered.

Thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East - many of them Syrian refugees - continue to arrive from Turkey in flimsy boats every day.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) estimates that some 31,000 migrants have reached Greece by sea so far this year, hoping to start new lives in Europe.

On Thursday at least 12 migrants, including children, drowned off the Turkish coast as their boat tried to reach Greece. The Turkish coast guard rescued 28 people, foreign media reports.

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