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Published: 16:53, July 28, 2021
Turkey detains 200 Afghan migrants en route to Italy
By Reuters
Published:16:53, July 28, 2021 By Reuters

A Turkish coastguard boat proceeds to check an inflatable boat in the sea between Lesbos island and the Turkish coast as part of operations to prevent boats of refugees from reaching the Greek coast on March 6, 2020. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP)

ISTANBUL - Turkish authorities detained a boat carrying more than 200 Afghan migrants in the Aegean sea heading for Europe, Turkey's coastguard and the International Organization for Migration said on Wednesday.

The migrants were believed to be en route to Italy, the coastguard official said. The majority of the 231 migrants on the boat were from Afghanistan while a few others were from Syria, Iran, Eritrea and Pakistan, the official added.

ALSO READ: UN agency: Afghanistan on brink of humanitarian crisis

The coastguard detained two Turkish nationals steering the boat and escorted migrants to a deportation centre in the western Turkish town of Ayvacik.

In recent weeks Turkey has faced a fresh influx of Afghan migrants, crossing from its eastern border with Iran, amid rising violence in Afghanistan. Turkish authorities detained some 1,500 migrants last week.

READ MORE: Russia says Islamic State fighters moving into Afghanistan

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