Cyprus: 31 Syrians who Arrived by Boat to Seek Asylum

Αssociated press

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, a migrant from Syria rests at a refugee camp in Kokkinotrimithia outside of Nicosia, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA (AP) — Cyprus' Civil Defense chief says 31 Syrian migrants who arrived by boat intend to seek asylum in the east Mediterranean island nation.

Andreas Frantzis says the 28 men, one woman and two children will be taken Tuesday to a reception center for processing and allowed to leave after a two-day stay there.

Police said a boat initially dropped off the migrants late Monday on a beach along the western edges of the breakaway, Turkish Cypriot north of ethnically divided Cyprus, a European Union member.

They then crossed a United Nations-controlled buffer zone on foot to enter the internationally recognized south where they were picked up by police.

Cyprus government officials say migrants now regularly use the breakaway north as a route to reach the south in order to apply for asylum.