External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

NICOSIA (Reuters) - Two boats crowded with 305 Syrian refugees arrived in Cyprus overnight, police said on Sunday, one of the largest group landings of migrants to the island since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.

The vessels were tracked sailing to the north-west of the island and were thought to have set off from the Turkish coastal city of Mersin.

"For their safety they were towed to harbour," a police spokesman said. One of the vessels had been taking in water, the spokesman added.

Cyprus is the closest European Union member state to Syria, yet many fleeing conflict have largely avoided the island because it has no direct easy access to the rest of the continent.

The single largest group arrival since the Syrian conflict started was 345 people who were rescued in September 2014.

Police said they were questioning a 36 year old Syrian man believed to have been steering one of the vessels. The others would be taken to a reception centre west of the capital, Nicosia.

The Syrians, who included many minors, appeared in good health. A woman and her infant were taken to hospital for precautionary reasons, the spokesman added.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Mark Potter)

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line


swissinfo EN

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Join us on Facebook!

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.







Click here to see more newsletters

Reuters