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Greek authorities comb Aegean for missing migrants

Monday - 1/20/2014, 5:30am  ET

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greek rescuers are seeking 12 people reported missing in the eastern Aegean Sea after a fishing boat packed with immigrants that was being towed to the shore by a coastguard vessel capsized in the dark.

A Merchant Marine Ministry statement says another 16 people were rescued early Monday near Farmakonissi islet. Their nationalities were unknown.

Greece is a major entry point for people from impoverished or war-torn Asian and African countries seeking a better life in Europe. Most risk entering illegally by sea, and fatal accidents are frequent.

The ministry said Monday the vessel was found drifting by a patrol boat that tried to tow it to Farmakonissi. About 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) offshore, two people dived into the sea, prompting a rush that capsized the boat.


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