7 killed as migrant boat capsizes in Turkey

Ankara:  Seven people were killed as a migrant boat capsized in Turkey’s Lake Van region on Thursday, authorities said.

The boat carrying migrants capsized at around 3 a.m. as it sailed close to Adilcevaz district in Bitlis on the northern shores of Lake Van, reports Xinhua news agency.

Five people were killed on the spot, while two others died later in hospital.

Some 64 people were rescued and taken to hospital for treatment, the authorities added.

Search operations were still underway.

Lake Van lies in the country’s far east near its border with Iran, from where migrants often cross into Turkey before heading west to Europe.

Turkey’s security forces have held some 441,532 undocumented migrants on its territory this year, according to state-run Anadolu news agency.

This week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Turkey could not handle a “new refugee wave” from Syria amid increased bombardment of the rebel-held Idlib province, saying a new influx would be “felt by all European countries”.

Turkey already hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world.

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