Second group of migrants returned to Turkey from Greece

A second group of migrants were returned to Turkey on Friday under the terms of an EU-Turkey deal aimed at curbing migration movements.

Two boats carrying migrants docked in the western Turkish port of Dikili after they left the Greek Aegean islands.

On board the boats were 124 migrants from Morocco, Pakistan, India, Iraq and Palestine who had not filed for asylum, state radio station ERT reported.

Greece's refugee crisis committee said it has charted a sharp drop in the number of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey, compared to arrivals in the previous month, when 900 migrants reached Greece every day.

The committee said Friday that 149 migrants landed on Greek shores in the past 24 hours, in spite of the high risk of being returned to Turkey.

Activists have been protesting against what they described as the deportation of the migrants, which began earlier this week.

Three women attempted to stop one the boats carrying migrants on Friday and were removed by the coast guard after they climbed up the boat's anchor chain.

On Monday, more than 200 migrants from Lesbos and Chios were taken to Dikili under the terms of the EU migration deal with Ankara.

The agreement seeks to put an end to a migration influx that saw more than 1 million people reach Europe last year. Most of them came via Turkey to Greece, undertaking dangerous sea journeys that not all survived.

On Thursday, about 250 migrants and refugees broke out of a reception centre on the Greek island of Samos, reports said.

They marched through the streets of Vathy, the island's main town, demanding that they be allowed to continue their journey to the European mainland, and not be taken to Turkey.

Eyewitnesses described how some migrants were carrying knives and threatening security forces.

Police and local authorities from the European border agency Frontex convinced most of the migrants to return to the reception camp, local radio reports said early Friday.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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