Another refugee boat incident has left a five-year-old Syrian girl dead off the Greek coast, bringing to three the number of children whose bodies were washed up during their perilous sea journey to Europe in recent days.
On Saturday, Greek coastguard found the corpse of the girl, who went missing after the boat carrying her, sank en route from Turkey to Greece in the Aegean Sea, the Greek ANA news agency reported.
The coastguards rescued 13 people and were looking for other survivors of the incident, which occurred north of the Greek island of Lesbos.
Tragic deaths of child refugees
On September 18, Turkish officials recovered the body of a four-year-old Syrian girl washed up on a beach in the country’s western province of Izmir.
The victim was reportedly on board a boat, carrying 15 Syrians to the Greek island of Chios, when it submerged.
Syrian children sit inside a tent bearing an image of drowned Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi on their way between Turkey and Bulgaria in the northwestern Turkish city of Edirne, September 15, 2015. ©AFP
On September 2, the body of 3-year-old Syrian child Aylan Kurdi was also washed up on a beach near the Turkish port city of Bodrum.
Aylan was among at least 12 asylum seekers who died while crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek island of Kos.
The image showing Aylan’s lifeless body lying face-down on the beach drew world’s attention to the plight of refugees.
More than 2,600 refugees have drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea since January this year, according to the latest figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Most of the asylum seekers who risk their lives to reach Europe are reportedly fleeing conflict-hit zones in Africa and the Middle East, particularly Syria.
Syria has been the scene of a deadly conflict since 2011 with foreign-backed militants fighting the government troops aimed at toppling the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
The scourge has killed more than 240,000 people and forced over four millions of others to take refuge in other countries.