LOCAL NEWS

More than 170 Syrians held in western Turkey

Gendarmes stop Syrians from trying to reach Europe via illegal routes

Anadolu Agency

More than 170 Syrians have been held since Sunday during two separate operations in western Balıkesir province when they tried to travel to European countries via illegal routes, according to a governor’s office Monday.

In a statement, the Balıkesir Governor's Office said Kucukkoy gendarme stopped a minivan Monday in the province’s Badavut Tekev region in which they found 47 Syrians, including 21 children.

Two suspects were detained for organizing the illegal crossing bid, the statement said.

In another operation on Sunday, the Küçükkoy gendarme stopped 124 Syrians, including 61 children in the Badavut Tekev region when they tried to reach the Greek Island of Lesbos via an illegal route, the statement added.

So far, hundreds of thousands of people have made short but perilous journeys across the Aegean to reach northern and western Europe.

Nearly 2,000 refugees cross into Greek islands every month, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Hundreds of people have died at sea as a number of boats carrying refugees sank. The Turkish Coast Guard has rescued thousands.

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