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Tuesday , December 11 2018

Cyprus rescues 305 Syrian refugees in two boats

In this Sept 8, video frame grab image, made available by Turkey’s Coast Guard on Sept 9, a Syrian migrant among others, briefly lifts a small child, on a rubber dinghy while trying to cross to Greece from Turkey’s Izmir province. (AP)

Cypriot authorities brought ashore more than 300 Syrian refugees early on Sunday after spotting two boats in open water off the northwest coast of the Mediterranean island, police said. It was one of the largest waves of migrants to be received by Cypriot authorities in a single day since civil war erupted in Syria in 2011.

The 305 migrants, who included 30 women and 73 children, said they had set off from the Turkish port of Mersin and paid up to $2,000 (1,600 euros) each for the crossing. Police arrested a 36-year-old man on suspicion of piloting one of the boats. He was expected to appear before a court in the resort town of Paphos later on Sunday.

Police said the migrants were in good health and would be transported to a reception centre outside the capital Nicosia. A woman and her 10-monthold baby were taken to hospital as a precaution.

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