By John Carr
At least sixteen migrants drowned in the eastern Aegean Sea this morning as their wooden boat capsized in circumstances that are still unclear. Among the victims are five children.
The boat, with about twenty migrants and refugees on board, had just set out from the Turkish mainland when it overturned off the Greek island of Agathonisi. A handful of survivors managed to make to the island where they alerted the Greek Coast Guard.
Sinking remains a mystery
Just how the boat sank remains a mystery, as no bad weather or strong winds were reported in the area.
This migrant death toll is one of the highest since the mass migrant exodus from Turkey to Greece began three years ago. There still has been no solution on the Greek side, with migrants and refugees still penned up in island holding camps that are often the scene of clashes among migrant groups. And with the approach of spring, authorities here in Athens are expecting new waves of boat people, who have to be housed and fed.