Child dies as migrants’ boat capsizes

Turkish President Erdogan warns millions of refugees will soon head to Europe

Updated - March 02, 2020 10:34 pm IST

Published - March 02, 2020 10:33 pm IST - Ankara

Immigration crisis:  Migrants arriving at Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea .

Immigration crisis: Migrants arriving at Skala Sikaminias, on the Greek island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea .

A young boy died when a makeshift boat packed with dozens of migrants capsized off the coast of Lesbos, the Greek port police said, as the number of people attempting to cross into Europe from Turkey surges.

Two children were found “unconscious” after the vessel overturned around 08:30 a.m. local time (0630 GMT) in the Aegean Sea. One of them could not be revived, while the other was taken to hospital, a spokeswoman said.

Also read | At least 13,000 migrants along Turkish-Greek border: UN

A further “46 people are safe” following the accident, the official said. No details were given on the nationality or age of the child.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday that “millions” of migrants will soon head for Europe as he mounted pressure on Western countries to give Turkey more assistance with the Syrian conflict .

Mr. Erdogan also said he hoped to reach a deal on a ceasefire in Syria when he meets his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin later in the week.

He warned Europe that it will have to shoulder its part of the refugee crisis triggered by violence in the region.

“After we opened the doors, there were multiple calls saying ‘close the doors’. I told them ‘it’s done. It’s finished. The doors are now open. Now, you will have to take your share of the burden’,” he said.

The migrant question comes as Turkey has launched a military operation in Idlib in northwestern Syria, after weeks of mounting tensions with the regime.

The Syrian government pledged to repel Turkish forces, telling the official SANA news agency that it was “determined to confront the flagrant Turkish aggression”.

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