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At least 8 migrants dead after boat flips off Turkish coast

By Clyde Hughes
Migrants disembark from a passenger ship on the Aegean coast in 2015. The sea is a popular route for migrants fleeing the Middle East for Europe. File Photo by Yuksel Pecenek/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/54fbf713d2cd05f0607e33f9cc6c5f48/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Migrants disembark from a passenger ship on the Aegean coast in 2015. The sea is a popular route for migrants fleeing the Middle East for Europe. File Photo by Yuksel Pecenek/UPI | License Photo

June 17 (UPI) -- At least eight people died when a boat carrying migrants capsized off Turkey's southwestern Aegean coast Monday, authorities said, adding that nearly three dozen were rescued.

The Turkish Coast Guard said the inflatable boat with more than three dozen migrants turned over close to the Bodrum district near the Turkey province of Mugla. Authorities said one migrant was missing, leaving the possibility the death toll could ultimately reach nine.

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Exactly how the boat capsized or the origins of the vessel weren't initially detailed, but Turkish waters have been a main route for refugees escaping from violence in Syria during its long-running civil war. Migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq have fled for similar reasons and died along the route.

At least 50 refugees have died so far this year trying to reach Turkey on their way through Europe.

Turkish authorities said nearly 11,000 migrants have tried to reach Greece through Turkey so far this year, a slight decrease from the same period last year. A total of 268,000 migrants were held in Turkey in 2018.

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