ANKARA (Reuters) – Eight people were killed on Monday after a dinghy carrying migrants sank off Turkey’s western coast, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, adding that 31 others had been rescued.
Search and rescue operations were launched by the coast guard to reach the passengers of the boat, which sunk off the coast of the Bodrum district in the Mugla province, Anadolu said.
It said the operations, carried out with two boats, a diving team and a helicopter from the coast guard, had found the bodies of eight people from the boat, which was carrying 40 migrants in total.
In an earlier statement, the coast guard had said efforts were underway to reach nine missing migrants from the dinghy.
Turkey became one of the main launch points for migrants taking the sea route to European Union territory in 2015, many fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. The movement was drastically curtailed by a 2016 accord between Ankara and the EU.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)