Boat carrying more than 90 Syrian migrants rescued in Cyprus
NICOSIA - A boat carrying more than 90 migrants believed to be from Syria was rescued off the northwest coast of Cyprus, the island's authorities said Saturday.
The vessel carrying 93 people, including 47 children, was spotted eight nautical miles from shore overnight and escorted to Kato Pyrgos in Cyprus' Paphos region.
They will be taken to a reception centre on the outskirts of the capital Nicosia on Saturday following medical check-ups, authorities said.
Local media reported that the migrants told police that they travelled from Turkey and paid $2,000 (1,850 euros) each to reach Cyprus.
EU member Cyprus lies just 100 kilometres (60 miles) off Syria but has so far avoided a mass influx of refugees from that country's conflict.
However, the Paphos area has been a frequent hotspot for traffickers from Turkey. In September and November, 83 and 128 Syrian migrants respectively were rescued there under similar circumstances.