Turkey captures 262 more illegal immigrants in Aegean

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-14 01:21:33|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ISTANBUL, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Turkish coast guard captured 262 more illegal immigrants who tried to sneak into Greek islands from Turkey's side of the Aegean Sea in the past two days, the force announced Wednesday.

The coast guard teams caught the irregular migrants in eight separate operations launched in the sea near the provinces of Mugla, Aydin, Balikesir, Canakkale and Izmir.

Among the captured are 134 Afghans and 85 Syrians, the coast guard said in statements posted on its website, noting the rest are from Somalia, Palestine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, South Africa and the Central African Republic.

The force caught 273 illegal immigrants on their way to Greek islands last week.

The Aegean Sea was once the main route for migrants trying to reach Europe via Turkey. Turkey and the European Union signed a deal in March 2016 to curb the flow of illegal immigration.

Since this year, a total of 53,159 migrants have attempted to reach Greece via Turkey, up from 25,398 over the same period in 2018, according to the latest figures released by the coast guard.