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Society

Another 100 Refugees, Migrants Rescued Off Lesbos

April 9, 2018

With a pick-up in the numbers coming with the arrival of warmer weather, some 100 refugees and migrants were saved from the seas off the already-overrun Aegean island of Lesbos, with Turkey allowing human traffickers to operate again during a suspended swap deal with the European Union.

The Greek Coast Guard and the EU’s border patrol Frontex joined in the operation after finding a plastic dinghy with 56 people aboard, taking them to Lesbos, and the Coast Guard picking up 44 more east of Agathonisi, an islet a few miles off the Turkish coast. Those onboard were transferred to the port of Pythagorio, in Samos, said Kathimerini.

No information was available on the nationalities or ages of those rescued. More have begun to arrive on Greek islands which are trying to deal with more than 15,000 of them in detention centers and camps criticized by human rights groups for nasty conditions.

Late in March, some 300 refugees and migrants landed on the already-overrun Aegean island of Lesbos which has more than 5,300 of them and counting.

As part of a suspended swap deal with the European Union – which is ready to release another 3 billion euros ($3.7 billion) to Turkey to deal with three million refugees and migrants, most fleeing Syria’s civil war – Turkey is supposed to take back those who do not receive asylum in Greece, but only a relative handful have been returned.

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