A dozen dead as hundreds of migrants attempt to cross into Europe

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A dozen dead as hundreds of migrants attempt to cross into Europe

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A day of desperation for hundreds of migrants trying to cross into Europe with many losing their lives in the attempt.

Around a dozen people died in two separate attempts to get into Greece by boat on Tuesday.

At least seven drowned close to the Greek island of Lesvos. Their bodies were recovered from the sea . Eight people were also rescued.

Further south in the Agean Sea, off the Turkish coastal town of Bodrum, four Syrians died trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.

In a separate incident, Italian navy vessels rescued almost 600 migrants from two boats in trouble off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa. Most were Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

The Italian navy is now allowed to rescue vessels in trouble since a boat carrying more than 300 people from Libya sank last year.

Meanwhile in Morocco, more than 500 African migrants managed to scale the border fence, and its razor-sharp barbed wire, into Melilla on Tuesday. Many arrived wounded and bleeding and had to be treated in hospital.

More than 1,000 attempted to get across in what is being described as the biggest mass attempt ever on the Spanish enclave. Most of the men said they were from Mali, where last year’s civil war forced tens of thousands to flee.