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13 children among 22 migrants drowned off Greece

ATHENS: At least 22 migrants, among them 13 children, drowned overnight when two boats sank off the islands of Kalymnos and Rhodes, the Greek port officials said on Friday.

The latest drownings prompted a sharp response from Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who said he felt “shame” over Europe’s failure to prevent the tragedies.

Another 138 people were pulled to safety although the coastguard were continuing their search for survivors, officials said.

Off Kalymnos, authorities recovered 19 bodies on Friday morning, among them six women and 10 children.

Further south, a woman, a child and baby drowned when another boat sank off Rhodes. Three people who had been on board with them were still missing early Friday, while six others were rescued.

And early on Friday, an AFP correspondent saw another boat foundering off the coast of Lesbos, with a group of desperate people perched on the roof screaming for help.

The latest deaths came after a string of drownings off the tourist islands of Lesbos and Samos on Wednesday, with the latest figures showing at least 17 people, including 11 children, died.

Throughout October, 68 people have drowned while trying to reach Greece from Turkey, according to an AFP count based on statistics released by Greek port authorities.

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