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Greek Coast Guard Fires Warning Shots at Migrant Boat Off Rhodes

Stepping up patrols in the seas to keep away boats carrying refugees and migrants from Turkey, Greece's Coast Guard said warning shots were fired at a vessel heading toward Rhodes.

It happened about 3:40 a.m. On Aug. 11 when a when a boat with an unspecified number of passengers was found heading toward the island, Coast Guard officials trying to keep it away.

The Coast Guard said its officers "fired warning shots at a safe section of the (migrant) boat.” The vessel then slowed down its speed and returned to Turkey, the report said.

Turkey has claimed that Greece has tried to push back boats after Turkey allowed human traffickers to keep sending refugees and migrants in violation of an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union which has sent its Frontex border patrol to help Greece.

The Turkish Coast Guard said that when it arrived at the scene of the incident, the Greek Coast Guard vessels had left and that the rubber bullets had injured three passengers – two Turkish nationals, one of which seriously, and one Syrian who were taken to a hospital in Marmaris for treatment.

It also said that the migrant boat sank after taking in water but offered no proof for either claim as tensions rose.

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