The Latest: Cyprus police rescue 13 asylum-seekers in boat

AP News
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Posted: Oct 10, 2015 3:35 PM
The Latest: Cyprus police rescue 13 asylum-seekers in boat

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Developments as tens of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in their homelands embark on a quest to seek safety in Europe. All times local.

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10:30 p.m.

Cyprus police say 13 people, including six children and three women, have been rescued from a boat found off the eastern Mediterranean island's southern coast.

A police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to disclose details of the rescue, said the 13 are believed to be Syrian and Lebanese nationals. He said the boat was found late Saturday.

Cyprus' easternmost tip is less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from war-torn Syria's coastline.

Cyprus authorities last month rescued 115 people fleeing Syria after their fishing boat ran into trouble off the island's southern coast.

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6:00 p.m.

Dutch police say they arrested 11 people for trying to break into an asylum seekers center.

Police said Saturday that some 20 people broke down barriers late Friday night and threw fireworks and eggs at the temporary accommodation for some 150 asylum seekers in a sports hall in the central Dutch town of Woerden.

Those arrested were all Dutch men aged between 19-30 years. Police say in a statement that the men are being held on suspicion of public violence.

Thousands of migrants are arriving in the Netherlands each week. Many Dutch people welcome them with open arms, but there have also been protests in towns and villages against the arrival of asylum seeker centers to house the new arrivals.

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1:20 p.m.

European Union officials say that Greece's first migrant processing center will open over the next 10 days, allowing migrants and refugees to be flown to other EU countries — mostly of their preference — and have their asylum applications processed there.

Dimitris Avramopoulos, European Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner, said the first center will open on the island of Lesbos, with up to four more on other Greek islands. Tens of thousands of people fleeing war or poverty have landed in Greece, the main gateway of migrants crossing into the EU from neighboring Turkey. Most want to travel on to other European countries like Germany.

Luxembourg Minister for Foreign Affairs Jean Asselborn, who traveled to Italy and Greece with Avramopoulos, said it was extremely important to strengthen Europe's external borders.