Boat with 53 Iraqis, Syrians runs aground in northern Greece


Greek authorities say they have picked up 53 people, all believed to be from Iraq and Syria, after the boat smuggling them into the country ran aground on a remote beach off the mainland of northeastern Greece.

Authorities said Thursday the boat, a 12-meter (40-foot) Turkish-flagged yacht, ran aground on Molyvoti beach in the northeastern Rodopi region, far from any of the usual smuggling routes used to ferry migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece.

The group comprised 19 men, 11 women and 23 children aged between 2 and 8.

Hundreds of migrants continue to pass from Turkey into Greece. Nearly all cross either from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands or forge across a river along the Greek-Turkish land border. [AP]