Cyprus saves 45 Syrian migrants from boats in distress

Authorities in Cyprus said Friday that they rescued 45 Syrian migrants from two boats after getting information that they were in difficulty near a beachfront tourist area.

The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre of the eastern Mediterranean island said it had rescued 29 men, five women, and 11 children who had been adrift off Cape Greco on Thursday evening.

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They were in good health, according to police, and had been taken to a migrant processing center on the outskirts of Nicosia.

Two people, aged 20 and 18, were arrested and were expected to appear in court on Friday on suspicion of sailing the two boats.

Cyprus, a European Union member, claims to be on the front lines of the bloc’s irregular migratory flows, and last year had the greatest number of first-time asylum seekers per capita in the EU.

On Thursday evening, 18 irregular migrants on a wooden boat and another 27 on an inflatable ship were rescued.

Police said they took out from war-torn Syria before being discovered off the southeast coast of the island, near the tourist resort of Aya Napa.

On Wednesday, a boat carrying 37 Syrian refugees was seized off the coast of Cape Greco and transported to shore.

According to Cypriot officials, there has been an increase in the number of migrants arriving by boat, with a 60% increase recorded in the first five months of 2023 compared to last year.

They claim that the majority of migrants arriving by boat leave from the port of Tartus in Syria, which has been wrecked by more than a decade of war, though fighting has ceased since 2020.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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