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Cyprus detains 2 Syrians over boat filled with 131 migrants

Cyprus police detain two Syrian men on suspicion of human trafficking following the arrival of a boat loaded with 131 Syrian migrants on the island nation’s northeastern coast.

Police say the two men were aboard another vessel that had shadowed the boat ferrying the migrants as it approached the Cypriot coastline yesterday.

Cypriot authorities had tracked the movements of the migrants’ boat by radar.

The men, ages 43 and 53, were arrested after a marine police patrol boat intercepted their vessel off the Akamas nature preserve.

Syrian refugees speak to friends and family from across the fence inside the Temporary Accommodation Center in Kokkinotrimithia, outside the Cypriot capital Nicosia on November 5, 2019. (Iakovos Hatzistavrou / AFP)

Both men face charges including aiding and abetting the illegal entry of migrants in Cyprus and people trafficking by a sea route.

All 131 migrants, including five women and eight minors, were taken to a reception center on the capital’s outskirts.

— AP

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