November 11, 2015 / 8:00 AM / 2 years ago

Fourteen dead after migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast: report

ANKARA (Reuters) - Fourteen people died and a further 27 were rescued by Turkish authorities after their boat sank on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos, Dogan news agency reported on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of migrants have made the perilous journey from Turkey to Europe in recent months, many of them fleeing conflicts in the Middle East while others came from Africa. The onset of winter has so far done little to stem the flow.

Children were among those who died when the wooden boat went down in the 8km (5 mile) stretch of water separating Lesbos from the Turkish coast, Dohan reported. Turkey’s coastguard was not immediately available to comment.

European and African leaders are due to meet Wednesday in Malta to discuss the migrant issue, with the EU hoping that pledges of cash to some of the world’s poorest countries will help discourage others from making the journey.

The European Union expects a battle at the summit of world leaders in Turkey on Sunday to have its migration crisis recognized as a global problem needing a global response, an EU official said on Tuesday.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Jonny Hogg; Editing by Tom Heneghan

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