NEWS

184 illegal migrants arrested

Police in southern Crete yesterday arrested 70 illegal immigrants who had been set ashore on the island by a mystery people-smuggling ship suspected of having disembarked a total of 161 migrants in the area since last Thursday. The 70 men, all who claimed to be Palestinian refugees, were offered temporary shelter in an abandoned army camp in the Iraklion area, which local authorities and humanitarian groups helped equip with rudimental amenities. The group was set ashore early in the morning in the Trypiti area. On Friday, 46 illegal immigrants, all who claimed to be Palestinians, were arrested in the municipality of Asterousia, some 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of Iraklion. On Thursday, yet another 45 illegal immigrants who identified themselves as Palestinians were caught in the neighboring area of Kofinas. Meanwhile, on the eastern Aegean island of Kos, a coast guard patrol arrested nine immigrants trying to reach the shore in two plastic rowboats. Another 14 were arrested on Friday and Saturday on Chios.