NEWS

Migrant ship runs aground

An Egyptian trawler carrying some 80 illegal immigrants ran aground near Matala, southern Crete, yesterday after battling the elements for more than 24 hours. It had looked as if the ship, monitored by Greek coast guard patrols, was sailing out of Greek waters after issuing a distress call on Sunday morning. Yesterday afternoon, however, the 22-meter wooden ship sank just off the coast of Crete. Coast guards say they arrested 70 of 80 immigrants who scrambled ashore and are searching for the rest. It is thought the smugglers are among them. Late on Sunday, a NATO ship found a Libyan fishing boat, 67 miles south of Schiza island off the southern Peloponnese. The boat is thought to be carrying 43 illegal immigrants and is being monitored by the Greek coast guard. Also yesterday, 11 Ethiopians were arrested on Samos and put in a holding center along with another 136 illegal immigrants. Citing terrible conditions, campaigners have asked local authorities to move them to a building that complies with international standards.