60 Dead After Boat Capsizes Off Turkish Shore

Posted September 6th, 2012 at 11:50 am (UTC-5)
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Turkish officials say at least 60 people have drowned, about half of them children, after a boat carrying illegal immigrants sank in waters off western Turkey.

The provincial government of Izmir said Thursday that 31 of the victims were children, and most of the others were women.

The boat is believed to have been bound for European waters, but it struck rocks and sank just 50 meters from the Turkish shoreline.

Authorities are investigating, and two people have been arrested. The search for victims continues.

Forty-six people have been reported rescued. The survivors' nationalities are unclear. Earlier reports listed Syrians, Iraqis, and Palestinians among the survivors, but there has been no official confirmation.

Turkey is a popular crossing point for people wishing to migrate into the European Union. It has also been the destination for some 80,000 Syrian refugees crossing the border to flee violence in their own country.