ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities have raised the number of migrants killed off Turkey’s Aegean coast to nine.
In a statement, the coast guard said it has recovered the bodies of four women and five children after their boat sank off near the town of Ayvalik, in northwestern Turkey. Five other migrants — including one woman and a child — were rescued.
Rescue crews were still searching for two other missing migrants and their smuggler.
The private DHA news agency said the migrants were members of three families from Afghanistan.
Turkish authorities say at least two women and five children have drowned after a boat carrying migrants sank off the Turkish coast.
The coast guard said five other migrants — including one woman and a child — were saved in an air and sea rescue mission launched Friday after the boat went down off the Aegean coastal town of Ayvalik, in northwestern Turkey. The town is a main crossing point for migrants wanting to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.
The coast guard said the boat was believed to be carrying 17 people. The search is continuing to find four missing migrants and their smuggler, it said.
The migrants attempt the perilous journey from Turkey into European Union-member Greece in the hope of reaching more prosperous European nations.