Bodies of 3 missing girls found after migrant boat sinks in Greece

The bodies of three girls who went missing after a boat carrying migrants sank off the Greek island of Chios have been found.

The bodies of three girls were found on a rocky and inaccessible beach northwest of Chios Island in the Aegean Sea after a migrant boat sank, the coastguard said.

The children are reported to be 5, 7 and 10 years old. The search for other missing people continues. The coast guard has so far rescued 19 people, including 8 children. Among those rescued is the mother of three girls who died.

According to the Greek state television channel Ert, the boat was carrying 27 passengers, mostly Afghan migrants. However, according to the coastguard, the number of passengers on the boat, which departed from the Turkish coast just a few kilometres from Greece, is "unclear for the moment".

The islands in the north-eastern Aegean Sea are transit points for migrants seeking to reach Europe.

According to the High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 11,300 migrants have arrived on the Greek islands since the beginning of 2024.

In 2023, 45,000 asylum seekers arrived in Greece, most of them disembarking on islands near the Turkish coast.

In June 2023, a boat from Libya capsized off the coast of the Peloponnese in the south of the country, drowning 82 people and leaving hundreds missing. Investigations are being carried out into the responsibility of Greek coastguards in the incident.