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Sinking of Refugee Boat off Turkish Coast Disputed

Controversy over reports of overcrowded boat carrying sinking off the Turkish coast
Sinking of Refugee Boat off Turkish Coast Disputed

A committee for Syrian Palestinians in Lebanon denied on Wednesday, August 19, the sinking of a boat off the Turkish coast. One of the boat’s passengers confirmed to the committee that reports on the sinking of the vessel were unfounded, noting that 60 people were on board and faced "significant risks" during their journey.

The Lebanese National News Agency reported today the sinking of a smuggler boat used to transfer 40 Palestinians from refugee camps in Syria – specifically from Yarmouk refugee camp – who took refuge earlier in camps in northern Lebanon and Tripoli.

The Agency said that the boat set out from the port of Tripoli toward Turkey two days ago, and sank due to its weight upon arrival in the Turkish territorial waters.

One of the survivors contacted his relatives in Tripoli, confirming the death of nine people, including women and children, according to the Agency, which explained that "Turkish rescue teams and coast guards tried to save the passengers and took them to hospitals to receive treatment".

AFP reported that at least five Syrian migrants had died after another boat sank carrying them from Turkey to Greece on Tuesday.

The International Organization for Migration published a statement on Tuesday, August 4, indicating that more than 2,000 illegal migrants have died this year while trying to search for a better life through the "bloodiest" route across the Mediterranean.

Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer

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