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2 die as migrant boat sinks off Turkey’s Aegean coast

4 people arrested after boat disaster in Aegean Mugla coast

At least two children died after a boat carrying some 34 irregular migrants sank early Monday in the Aegean Sea off Turkey’s Mugla coast, the Turkish Coast Guard said.

The incident occurred off Bodrum district as a six-meter boat “Ela” sank at 5.47 a.m. local time [0247 GMT], Coast Guard Command said in a statement.

The children — under the critical condition when rescued — were reported dead at hospitals in Bodrum, the statement said.

They were among 34 people in a fiber boat and some of them were rescued by coastguards while the others escaped death by their own efforts.

A 7-year-old girl — one of the victims — was taken to an ambulance by a police officer but she was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Among those rescued, a 4-year-old Palestinian national — identified as Ihab Abujazar — is receiving treatment in a hospital in western Izmir province.

Four people were arrested as part of an investigation into the incident.

Turkey has been the main route for irregular migrants trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.

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