Boat carrying Syrian, Palestinian refugees sinks off Lebanon coast

BEIRUT, Weedah Hamzah (dpa)- A child died and four people were injured when a boat carrying more than 30 people, most of them Syrians, sank off the coast of Lebanon early Saturday, a Lebanese army statement said.
The army statement said the boat had 39 people on board, among them Syrian and Palestinian refugees, as well as a few Lebanese nationals.

All were trying to head illegally to Cyprus, the statement added.
A Lebanese army source earlier said the boat was heading to Greece.
According to a security source in northern Lebanon, the child who died was a 5-year-old Palestinian from the Palestinian refugee camp of Naher al-Barad in northern Lebanon.
There are some 400,000 Palestinian refugees living in 12 camps across Lebanon amid miserable conditions.
According to initial investigations, army forces near the northern Abdeh port received a distress call at 4 am (0100 GMT) from the sinking boat.
Most of the people on board were saved. A Lebanese Red Cross source told dpa that its teams transferred the wounded people, who mainly suffered from breathing problems and minor injuries, to a hospital in northern Lebanon.
Syrian refugees in Turkey and Lebanon have been using small boats to take them to Greece or Cyprus so that they can reach Europe and seek asylum there.

Saturday, September 22nd 2018
Weedah Hamzah (dpa)

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