Turkish officials say three children are among at least 34 people who died after two migrant boats capsized off the Aegean coast, with a dozen others rescued at sea or from nearby rocks. Rough Cut - Subtitled (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Turkey's gendarmerie said it found the bodies of 34 migrants, three of them children, at two separate locations on the Aegean coast on Tuesday (January 5) after their boat apparently capsized as they tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Twwenty-four of the bodies were discovered on the shoreline in the district of Ayvalik, while ten others were found in the district of Dikili, a gendarmerie official in the local headquarters told Reuters. A coast guard official said three boats and a helicopter were searching for any survivors. Residents of Ayvalik rushed to the shoreline to help after hearing about the incident. "We came an hour ago. We heard a boat sank and hit the rocks. I surmise these people died when they were trying to swim from the rocks. We came here to help as citizens," one of the residents said. The Turkish coastguard initially discovered the bodies in the district of Ayvalik at around 5 a.m. (0300 GMT). After a search at sea they rescued eight other people from among a total of 22 believed to have attempted the crossing. More than 500,000 refugees and migrants entered Greece through its outlying islands last year, travelling on to central and northern Europe as part of the biggest humanitarian crisis on the continent in two decades. Lesbos, located less than 10 km (six miles) from the coast of Turkey, has been a primary gateway for thousands of migrants crossing the European Union's outermost border, many of them fleeing civil war in Syria.