Turkish news agency: 18 refugees drown, 14 saved at sea
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Turkish news agency: 18 refugees drown, 14 saved at sea

Boat sinks trying to cross from Turkey to Greek island of Kalymnos; hundreds died in past year in effort to reach EU shores

Refugees and migrants arrive on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Lesbos, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)
Refugees and migrants arrive on a dinghy from the Turkish coast to the Greek island of Lesbos, Friday, Dec. 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

BODRUM, Turkey — A Turkish news agency says at least 18 migrants have drowned and 14 others were rescued after a boat taking them to Greece sank off the Turkish coast.

The DHA news agency said the boat sank early Saturday after leaving the Aegean resort of Bodrum in southwest Turkey. It said the boat was transporting Iraqi, Pakistani and Syrian refugees to the nearby Greek island of Kalymnos.

According to DHA, Turkish authorities have detained two people suspected of organizing the smuggling journey.

Some 800,000 asylum-seekers have reached Greece from Turkey so far this year — an astonishing number that has strained the resources of the financially strapped nation. Hundreds have drowned in the attempt to reach the safety of Europe.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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