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Suspected migrant smuggler shot dead by Greek coastguard

The Greek coastguard said on Tuesday it had shot dead a suspected smuggler who attempted to flee on a speedboat after ferrying migrants to an Aegean Sea island. The incident occurred near the Greek island of Kos, which is less than 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the Turkish mainland. A spokeswoman told AFP that the shots "were aimed at the boat's motor... and the smuggler was apparently hit." Greek reports said the victim was a 29-year-old Turkish man. The spokeswoman said the victim, who had been manning the speedboat controls, ignored signals to stop.

Greece denies blame in migrant drownings

Greece on Thursday rejected claims that its coastguard was responsible for the deaths of at least two migrants in the Aegean Sea when the boat carrying them to Europe capsized. The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it has received eyewitness testimony that the boat carrying Afghan and Syrian migrants had capsized whilst being towed "at high speed" by a Greek coastguard vessel towards Turkish waters. It has also urged Athens to investigate the weekend tragedy near the Greek island of Farmakonissi in which a woman and child were found dead, and nine others are still missing.

Greek coastguard rescues migrants, one dies

The Greek coastguard early on Thursday rescued more than 40 undocumented migrants stranded on an Aegean Sea islet, though one of them later died in hospital, a spokeswoman said. The 47 migrants -- who lacked identity papers but said they were from Syria, Afghanistan and Cameroon -- were found on an islet near the island of Chios. "They were airlifted by rescue helicopter," the coastguard spokeswoman said. "One of them was unconscious and later died in hospital but the rest are fine and will undergo routine health tests," she added.
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