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Greece rescues hundreds of migrants adrift on fishing boat

Hellenic Red Cross rescuers and health workers stand by a boat carrying some 400 refugees and migrants at the town of Paleochora, southwestern Crete island on November 22, 2022, following a rescue operation. (Costas METAXAKIS / AFP)

ATHEN Greece rescued hundreds of migrants on Tuesday after the fishing boat they were travelling on issued a distress signal off the island of Crete, the coast guard said.

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A spokesperson for the coast guard cited survivors as saying about 400 to 500 people were on board. Two cargo ships, one navy frigate and one tanker assisted in the rescue, which was hindered by near gale force winds in the area.

Greece is one of the main entry points into the European Union for refugees and migrants

The migrants were taken to the southern seaside town of Paleochora. The spokesperson could not immediately confirm their nationalities nor the exact number of people on board.

Together with Spain and Italy, Greece is one of the main entry points into the European Union for refugees and migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Most asylum-seekers cross to Greece from neighbouring Turkey, though Greek news websites suggested those rescued on Tuesday had sailed from Libya.

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