Migrants rescued after boat burns off Samos

The coast guard rescued 18 illegal immigrants yesterday after their boat caught fire off the Aegean island of Samos, authorities said. The immigrants – 17 men and one woman – were taken to a hospital on Samos suffering from symptoms of hypothermia but were not in immediate danger. They were trying to slip into Greece from Turkey but their 8-meter boat went up in flames and sank about six miles north of Samos, according to the Merchant Marine Ministry. Authorities were questioning the immigrants, who said they were from Algeria and Lebanon, to find out if any of them were responsible for organizing the people-smuggling operation. Thousands of immigrants try to cross into the EU every year from the Greek-Turkish border.

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