Two ferries chartered by Greece are carrying more than 4,000 migrants from its overwhelmed eastern Aegean islands to the mainland.
The ferries are to arrive in Piraeus, the main port near Athens, later Tuesday night. The government began the ferry runs from islands such as Lesvos and Kos in mid-August due to a scarcity of tickets on regular ferries at the height of the summer tourist season.
Thousands of migrants have been stuck on the Greek islands, with families sleeping out in the open for days in streets and parks until they can get a ferry ticket to Piraeus.
In addition, Greece's coast guard says it rescued nearly 1,200 migrants from the sea off the islands in the last 24 hours. [AP]