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Tags: EU | Europe | Migrants | The Latest

The Latest: German Railway Boss Warns on Border Checks

Tuesday, 02 February 2016 09:33 AM EST

GENEVA (AP) — The Latest on migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

The head of Germany's national railway is warning that cross-border train services could be scrapped if Europe's open-borders system collapses.

The Schengen system allowing passport check-free travel between many European countries has come under increasing strain in recent months. Several countries have imposed at least partial border checks in the face of the migrant influx, as they are allowed to do temporarily.

The chief executive of German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, Ruediger Grube, was quoted Tuesday as telling the Bild daily: "The freedom of movement of the Schengen agreement is the basis of our international train service."

He added that "if borders are closed, the railway will have to discontinue connections to foreign countries. The checks and delays that would then be incurred would not be sustainable."

12:40 p.m.

The Turkish coast guard says two of the nine migrants who drowned off the Turkish coast while trying to cross into Greece were babies.

In a statement, the coast guard also said Tuesday it had launched a search-and-rescue mission for more possible victims after a fibreglass boat carrying the migrants partially capsized some 25 meters (80 feet) off the coast near the town of Seferihisar.

Two migrants were rescued near the boat's wreckage while 11 others apparently managed to swim to shore.

The coast guard did not provide information on the migrants' nationalities.

11:40 a.m.

An international migration agency says 368 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean last month, nearly one in six of them children, as minors make up a growing percentage of those making the treacherous trip.

The International Organization for Migration says more than 62,000 people crossed the Aegean in January — over 90 percent of them from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq — and 272 died on that route. Another 5,000 people crossed the central Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

IOM spokesman Joel Millman said 60 children younger than 18 were among those who died, bringing the total to 330 children who have died on the Mediterranean in the last five months.

Millman told reporters Tuesday in Geneva that the proportion of unaccompanied minors has "grown enormously." Nearly 20,000 made the crossing last month, or about one-third of the total — up from a rate of about one in seven in 2015.

10:00 a.m.

A Turkish news agency says at least nine migrants — two of them children — have drowned in a new boat sinking accident off the Turkish coast.

The private Dogan news agency says the migrants drowned Tuesday near the Aegean coastal town of Seferihisar, which is close to the Greek island of Samos. Two migrants were rescued while 11 others had apparently managed to reach the shore, the report said.

Officials could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

On Saturday, at least 37 migrants, among them several babies and children, drowned after their boat struck rocks and capsized while attempting the short sea journey from the town of Ayvacik, north of Seferihisar, to the island of Lesbos.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Latest on migrants seeking sanctuary in Europe (all times local):2:55 p.m.The head of Germany's national railway is warning that cross-border train services could be scrapped if Europe's open-borders system collapses.The Schengen system allowing passport check-free...
EU,Europe,Migrants,The Latest
Tuesday, 02 February 2016 09:33 AM
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