Migrant death toll reaches 14 in Greece shipwrecks: Coastguard

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Greece’s coastguard on Wednesday said it had recovered 14 bodies from two migrant boat sinkings earlier this week.

Thirteen of the bodies were found near the island of Evia on Wednesday, a day after a sailboat believed to be carrying nearly 70 people sank in stormy seas, a coastguard spokeswoman told AFP.

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A body had also been recovered Tuesday in another accident off the Greek island of Samos, where a dinghy from the Turkish coast capsized with 12 people on board.

Over 40 people are feared missing in the Evia incident with another seven missing in the Samos sinking.

Greece, Italy and Spain are destinations for people fleeing Africa and the Middle East in search of safety and better lives in the European Union.

The Greek coastguard has said it rescued about 1,500 people in the first eight months of the year, compared to fewer than 600 last year.

Greek officials say people smugglers now often take a longer and more perilous route south to bypass EU patrols in the Aegean in a bid to reach Italy.

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