KYTHIRA, Greece (AP) – Strong winds hampered efforts Friday around two Greek islands to find at least 10 migrants believed to be missing after shipwrecks killed 23 people, officials said.
A dinghy and a sailboat sank in two separate incidents late Wednesday and early Thursday off the islands of Lesvos, off the coast of Turkey, and Kythira, south of mainland Greece – leading to a dramatic nighttime rescue, taking survivors to safety on cliffs.
Coastguard, navy and volunteer rescuers focused their efforts around a rugged bay on Kythira, where the sailboat slammed into rocks and broke, leaving the bodies in the wreckage on Thursday.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who attended a meeting of European leaders in the Czech capital Prague, accused neighboring Turkey of failing to prevent boats full of migrants from leaving the coastline.
“Once again, I call on Turkey to work with Greece to stop these ruthless networks of traffickers in need, so that no more unnecessary lives are lost in the Aegean,” he told reporters at the start of the meetings.
“The root of this problem is the boats leaving the Turkish coast,” he said. “And there is no doubt that Turkey, if it wants to, can do more to tackle this problem.” ___ Follow AP’s coverage of global migration: https://apnews.com/hub/migration
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