Related topics

Stranded Migrants Found on Island

December 26, 1998

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ A group of 40 exhausted Iraqi and Afghan illegal migrants were discovered on the eastern Aegean island of Ikaria after being stranded in rough seas for four days, news reports said Saturday.

The 33 Iraqis and seven Afghans told police they had crossed from the Turkish coast about 45 miles away. They said they had been heading to Italy but high winds stopped them.

The migrant smugglers apparently sailed back to Turkey.

Tens of thousands of illegal migrants, mainly Iraqi Kurds, cross from Turkey into Greece each year.

Some of those arrested are sent back to Turkey but many are allowed seek work in Greece or other European Union countries.

The 40 migrants, including 15 children, are being held by authorities in Ikaria. They will be led to the nearby island of Samos, where a court will decide whether they will be allowed to stay in Greece.

Update hourly