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Eleven people die after boat sinks in Aegean Sea near Turkey

Turkey has taken in four million migrants and refugees, mostly Syrians, and is important transit country for those fleeing conflict and seeking to reach Europe via Greece
Migrants with child are helped by rescuers on Greek island of Lesbos after crossing Aegean Sea from Turkey late last year (AFP)

Eleven migrants died on Saturday, including eight children, when their vessel sank in the Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported.

The boat sank off Cesme, a popular tourist resort in western Turkey opposite the Greek island of Chios, Anadolu said.

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Eight others were rescued from the sea near Cesme, Reuters said.

The nationality of the victims was not yet known, AFP reported.

The sinking came just hours after another boat sank in the Aegean near the Greek island of Paxi, leaving at least 12 dead.

Turkey has taken in about four million migrants and refugees, the majority of them Syrians, and is an important transit country for those fleeing conflicts and seeking to reach Europe via Greece.

An agreement reached in March 2016 between Ankara and the European Union succeeded in reducing the number of people arriving on the five islands closest to Turkey.

More than 123,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been held in Turkey since the beginning of 2019, according to security officials who spoke to the Anadolu news agency.