Over 150 irregular migrants arrive by boat in Cyprus

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-04 22:54:55|Editor: yan
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NICOSIA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- More than 150 irregular migrants arrived in Cyprus on Monday aboard a small boat that had sailed from Turkey, local police said.

The group included children, but it was not immediately known how many.

Police sources said that the group of migrants was one of the largest to ever reach Cyprus on a boat.

The police said that the vessel was spotted off the northwestern coast of Cyprus early in the morning on Monday and a patrol boat was sent out to tow it into the only available shelter in the area, a fishing harbor in the Latchi tourist area.

Police said the migrants were Syrians who told authorities that they had paid people traffickers to bring them to Cyprus.

Two Syrians who were spotted in a speedboat several kilometers from the migrants' boat were arrested and were being questioned on suspicion that they were involved in the arrival of the migrants, police said.

The police also said that the suspects had claimed that they were fishing for tunas, noting that the tuna fishing season had ended two months ago.

The migrants were being processed by police at Latchi and will be later transferred to a refugee host center near the capital Nicosia.