The sinking of an inflatable boat has claimed at least six lives off Lesbos, the Greek island whose refugee camps have been slammed by Pope Francis. At one camp on the island, Syrian refugees have gone on hunger strike.
Six bodies were recovered by vessels from Greece’s navy and the EU’s Frontex agency on Monday. The Greek coastguard said one of its patrol vessels rescued two others, including a pregnant woman.
Authorities initially said the dead comprised one man, four women and a boy.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR put the death toll at 12 and, citing survivors, said 25 people had been on board the flimsy boat crossing the Aegean from Turkey.
Meanwhile at Moria, one of the camps on Lesbos, where the statuses of 13,800 refugees remain unresolved, 14 Kurds from Syria remain on hunger strike.
They began their protest against the slow processing of their appeals on Friday, sitting in blankets in front of the camp’s asylum bureau.
In the first instance, their applications for shelter inside the EU had been rejected.