Greece says it will try to retrieve the body of the migrant girl from the river island


Mitarachi visited Greece’s vast Evros region a day after police found a pregnant woman and seven children, 35 Syrians and three Palestinians hiding in Greek territory after crossing the river from Turkey.

Aid agencies and media reports said the child, who was from Syria and was traveling with her parents and sister, died of a scorpion sting.

Mitarachi said last week that the island in the Evros River was Turkish territory and that Greek officials had contacted their Turkish counterparts on the matter.

“Sadly, a 5-year-old girl lost her life on Turkish soil,” Mitarachi told reporters during a visit to Evros.

“We will coordinate with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent to ensure that this girl’s body is returned to Greece for a dignified burial by her family.”

Turkey’s interior ministry was not immediately available for comment.

Migrants tried to reach the Greek mainland but were pushed back, according to media and activists.

Greece has repeatedly refused to forcibly turn back refugees or migrants at border points.

The group first entered Greek territory on August 14 and went into hiding for a day, Mitarachi told reporters on Tuesday. He said he had previously been detained by Turkish authorities and then brought to the riverbank and forced to cross. On Monday, they said they found the boat.

“The Turkish police threatened to cross illegally into the European Union. It is completely illegal and violates international law,” the Greek minister said.

The Mediterranean country was at the forefront of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015 and 2016, with over a million refugees fleeing war and poverty from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arriving mainly through Turkey.

The number of arrivals has fallen sharply since then, but in recent months, Greek authorities have said they have stopped entering a significant number of people. Greece registered 4,126 migrant arrivals in May-July, a 113% increase compared to the same period last year.



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