Turkish authorities have intercepted a boat carrying more than 200 Afghan migrants in the Aegean sea heading for Europe, Turkey's coastguard and the International Organization for Migration said on Wednesday, APA reports citing Reuters.
The interception near Turkey's western shores came as hundreds of Afghans cross into eastern Turkey from Iran, after a rise in violence in their own country as the United States and its NATO allies withdraw and Taliban fighters seize territory.
The migrants intercepted in the Aegean were believed to be en route to Italy, the coastguard official said. Of the 231 migrants on the boat, 208 were Afghans and others were from Syria, Iran, Eritrea and Pakistan, the official added.
The coastguard detained two Turkish nationals steering the boat and escorted migrants to a deportation centre in the western Turkish town of Ayvacik.