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Migrant Boat Sinks off Turkey’s Coast, Killing at Least 16 People

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A rubber dinghy carrying migrants sank off Turkey’s northern Aegean coast on Friday, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

Turkish coast guard personnel rescued two migrants from the sea off the town of Eceabat in Canakkale province, while two others were able to reach the shore by themselves, Gov. Ilhami Aktas said.

It was not clear how many people were on the boat when it sank and the coast guard was continuing to search the area, he said.

Aktas told the state-run Anadolu Agency that four of the dead were infants and children.

The migrants’ nationalities were not immediately known.

Ten coast guard boats and two helicopters were involved in the search and rescue mission, Anadolu reported. Several ambulances were on standby at a nearby port.

Although their numbers have declined in recent years, migrants mostly from the Middle East and Africa often leave Turkey to try to reach Greece in search of a better life in European countries. Some migrants leaving Turkey also attempt to sail to Italy.

The Turkish coast guard said it caught at least 93 migrants attempting to leave the Turkish coast on boats this week.

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