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11 dead as migrant boat sinks off western Turkey

At least 11 irregular migrants, including eight children, were killed when their boat sank off the coast of western Turkey, a Turkish Coast Guard source said on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.

The boat carrying 19 irregular migrants capsized off the coast of Cesme in the Aegean province of Izmir, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued eight migrants, the source added.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

Some 268,000 irregular migrants were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.