NEWS

45 African immigrants caught on Aegean islet

The coast guard in the eastern Aegean yesterday arrested 45 African illegal immigrants found stranded on a tiny uninhabited islet south of Samos. A Merchant Marine Ministry statement said the immigrants were located early yesterday on Katsagani, near the small eastern Dodecanese island of Agathonisi, which lies between Samos, Leros, Patmos and the Turkish coast. All were in good health, while their nationalities were said to be Somalian, Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean. Among the 45 were 13 women and four children. All the immigrants are believed to have been ferried over from Turkey by smugglers. On Saturday, Turkish coast guard arrested 172 Turkish and Palestinian illegal immigrants in a fishing boat off the southern town of Finike, according to the Anatolian news agency. They seem to have been heading for Greece or Italy.