ATHENS, Greece — Ninety migrants were rescued from a stranded sailboat near the Aegean Sea island of Amorgos, Greek authorities said Friday, amid an increase in arrivals in recent weeks.
The migrants, rescued late Thursday, were taken to the eastern island of Leros and detained for identification and processing after patrol boats and three civilian vessels were involved in the rescue, the coast guard said.
Later on Friday, the coast guard said it picked up 20 migrants who had reached a beach in Leros in a small boat, and in a separate incident 24 people were rescued from an inflatable dinghy that was letting in water off the small eastern Aegean islet of Farmakonissi.
Greek officials have blamed the increase in arrivals largely on ongoing and expanding conflicts in Africa that are adding pressure on the main smuggling routes to Europe, and also on a burgeoning black market industry in Turkey that produces low-quality inflatable boats.
The government says it has not changed its policy of intercepting boats at sea, a practice that human rights groups say includes illegal summary deportations also known as pushbacks.
Source : ABC News