Greece on Tuesday accused Turkey of forcibly pushing a group of stranded migrants onto a small Greek island and leaving behind the body of a five-year-old child who died.
The incident follows years of tensions between the neighbors over migration issues, with each side blaming the other of avoiding their responsibilities.
The migrants were trapped on an islet in the Evros river at the border between the two countries.
In a statement issued while visiting the area, Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said the group were now being provided medical treatment in Greece.
He said the 35 Syrians and three Palestinians had originally arrived on the Turkish side of the river.
“The Turkish authorities forced them to cross illegally into Greece,” he wrote on Twitter.
“It appears from statements that a 5-year-old child died on Turkish soil,” he added. Greek officials would work with the Red Cross to ensure her body was recovered for a proper burial.
Greek police suggested the group had not been found earlier as the migrants, who included a pregnant woman, were “some four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the point initially declared, which was outside Greek territory.”
The pregnant woman has been transferred to hospital.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR had previously expressed concern for the group and called for them to be cared for.
Greek police said they had informed Turkish border authorities about the case “twice” in recent days.
Tensions have simmered between Greece and Turkey over the issue of migrants, with both sides accusing the other of “pushbacks” on the border.
Earlier this year, Turkey said 12 migrants had frozen to death after being stripped of their clothes and moved on by Greek border guards.
Migrants, refugees at risk of poorer access to healthcare, WHO urges immediate actionMillions of migrants and refugees face poorer healthcare than the communities in their host countries, the World Health Organization warned in its ... World News
Police in North Macedonia find 87 migrants, arrest two menPolice in North Macedonia say they have discovered 87 migrants crammed into a truck with a trailer in the southern part of the country and arrested ... World News
Greek PM slams map showing major Greek islands as Turkish, urges Erdogan to clarifyGreece’s prime minister called Monday on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clarify whether a map displayed by a nationalist ally of Erdogan’s ... World News
Turkish cargo ship with hundreds of Afghan migrants docks at Greek portA Turkish-flagged cargo ship carrying 382 mostly Afghan migrants docked safely at a Greek island’s port early on Sunday, two days after losing power ... World News