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Greece rescues Syrian migrants from a river islet after child killed by scorpion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, July 22, 2022. Greece has rescued a group of Syrian migrants it says was forced onto a scorpion and snake-infested islet between Turkey and Greece by Turkey. A 5-year-old migrant child died before the rescue from a scorpion sting. Photo by Gokhan Mert/ UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/087d8664d863ae7b660eb23747152cd2/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, July 22, 2022. Greece has rescued a group of Syrian migrants it says was forced onto a scorpion and snake-infested islet between Turkey and Greece by Turkey. A 5-year-old migrant child died before the rescue from a scorpion sting. Photo by Gokhan Mert/ UPI | License Photo

Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Greece has taken a group of marooned Syrians off a scorpion- and snake-infested river islet following the scorpion-sting death of a 5-year-old child in that group. The Syrians have been moved to temporary housing.

Greek Minister of Immigration Notis Mitarakis said in a statement that the Greek government would work through the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to recover the child's body.

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Mitarakis said there were 38 migrants moved from the islet, including 35 Syrians and three Palestinians. The statement said they were in good health but one pregnant woman was transferred to a hospital for preventative reasons.

Mitarakis said in the statement that according to the immigrants, they came from the Turkish bank of the river and were pushed toward the islet by the Turkish authorities. He alleged that the Turks did not give the immigrants the right to apply for international protection as required by international law.

According to The Guardian, one of the migrants, Baida Al-Saleh, 27, said the migrants arrived on the islet July 14, were forcibly taken back to Turkey and then once again returned to the islet in early August. He said they survived by drinking river water and eating corn and leaves.

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A Greek police statement said 22 men, nine women and seven children were found on the islet and given food, water and temporary accommodation.

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