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Greece intercepts boat carrying 73 migrants

October 14, 2013

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities have intercepted a boat with 73 immigrants who were allegedly trying to enter the country illegally.

A Merchant Marine Ministry statement said the vessel, which is not in any danger, was spotted 60 miles offshore Monday.

Greece and Italy are major entry points for African and Asian migrants seeking a better life in Europe.

In the past two weeks, about 400 people have died trying to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa on rickety smuggling ships.

The Greek ministry said a merchant ship, escorted by a coast guard patrol boat, was towing the vessel to the southern port of Pylos on the Mediterranean.

The migrants, among them 18 children, are expected to be temporarily detained. It was unclear where they are from.

Update hourly