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Ship rescues 22 immigrants in Aegean, child drowns

Written by: Staff
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ATHENS, June 6 (Reuters) A child drowned and 22 illegal immigrants were rescued after their boat sank in the eastern Aegean near the Turkish coast, Greek authorities today said.

The migrants were believed to be from Somalia.

''A Dutch cruise ship, the Noordam, sighted and rescued 22 illegal immigrants about five miles north of Samos island after their boat sank,'' a Merchant Marine Ministry official told Reuters.

A child, thought to be about four years old, had drowned, the official added.

Two Greek coast guard vessels and a helicopter took part in the rescue operation. The rescued migrants were on board the Noordam and headed for the Turkish coastal town of Kusadasi.

Each year, thousands of migrants attempt to enter European Union member Greece illegally from Turkey, by boat bound for one of hundreds of islands or by crossing the Greek-Turkish land border in the northeast of the country.

REUTERS DKS KN1526

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