The Latest: Total of 19 dead recovered from Aegean Sea

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2015 5:19 PM
The Latest: Total of 19 dead recovered from Aegean Sea

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The latest as hundreds of thousands of people seeking safety flood into Europe in search of a new life. All times local.

12:20 a.m.

Greek authorities confirm that the bodies of four more migrants, all men, have been recovered north of the island of Farmakonissi in the eastern Aegean Sea.

Four others were rescued and seven are missing.

This brings the total number of dead recovered Sunday in the Aegean Sea to 19, in three separate incidents.

The number of smuggling boats crossing over to Greece from the nearby Turkish coast fell Sunday as strong winds raked the eastern Aegean Sea, but some still attempted the dangerous crossing.

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6:10 p.m.

German police are reporting more violent attacks against refugees.

In Magdeburg, a group of 30 people beat up two 26-year-olds and a 35-year-old Syrian man with baseball bats, sending them to the hospital with injuries. Police detained a 24-year-old suspect.

In another attack, a 26-year-old Syrian man was injured by pieces of glass when explosives were thrown against his window in an asylum shelter in Freital in the eastern state of Saxony. The interior minister of Saxony, Markus Ulbig, condemned the "cowardly and cold-blooded attack," the German news agency dpa reported.

In Sehnde near Hannover, a 43-year-old man was detained for allegedly committing an arson attack on a home of a refugee family early Sunday. Nobody was harmed.

Several arson attacks were also reported on future asylum shelters across Germany, among them an empty hotel in Dresden and a former youth club in Castrop-Rauxel in western Germany.

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5:25 p.m.

Greek rescue workers and volunteers have recovered four more bodies believed to be from refugee smuggling boats that sank near the Greek island of Lesbos. 

The bodies of two men, one woman and a young boy were found early Sunday washed up on beaches in the Skala area of northern Lesbos — the stretch that has seen the heaviest traffic of asylum-seekers trying to get into Europe from Turkey. Late Wednesday, a wooden sailboat sank off the coast of Skala, killing at least 30 people. Dozens of others from the boat were believed to be still missing. 

The number of smuggling boats crossing over to Greece from the nearby Turkish coast fell Sunday as strong winds raked the eastern Aegean Sea, but fishermen in Skala towed two stranded dinghies to safety.  

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2:05 p.m.

Germany's governing coalition has not been able to agree on how to process migrants near the country's border who have no realistic chance of gaining asylum.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said Merkel's meeting Sunday on the migrant surge with, Horst Seehofer, the head of Bavaria's Christian Social Union, part of Merkel's Union bloc, and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, a center-left Social Democrat, ended without finding a solution for the "transit zones."

Seehofer wants border "transit zones" to weed out applicants who have little chance of winning asylum in Germany. But Gabriel has said his Social Democrats won't agree to a plan that could keep large numbers of people in custody at the border while their applications are processed.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the talks would resume Thursday.

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1:20 p.m.

Police say two Syrian asylum seekers were beaten with baseball bats by several masked attackers in the eastern German town of Wismar on the Baltic Sea.

Police in nearby Rostock said Sunday that the Syrian men, who were not identified, were standing outside their shelter on Saturday night when the group started harassing and beating them. The attackers then fled and the two asylum seekers had to be taken to the hospital and treated for their injuries.

Police have not been able to track down or identify the attackers yet and did not say how many people were involved in the attack.

Attacks against asylum-seekers and migrant shelters have increased sharply in Germany in recent months as refugees surge into Europe.

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12:55 p.m.

Greek authorities say 11 more people have drown on the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece after a boat carrying nearly 30 refugees sank in heavy seas near the eastern island of Samos.

A Greek Coast Guard spokeswoman says the victims Sunday include five women, four babies and two children. Fifteen other passengers have been rescued and there's an ongoing search for "one or two missing."

All but one of the victims were retrieved from the sunken 6-meter (20-foot) plastic boat, which lies in waters 3 meters (10 feet) deep just 20 meters (yards) off the Greek island's rocky coast.

Winds of up to 50 kph (31 mph) have been hitting the area.