Boat with eight Syrians capsizes off Lebanese coast; five missing

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said a fishing boat that was illegally carrying eight Syrian refugees to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus has capsized.

The report said the incident occurred yesterday off the northern Lebanese town of Chekka.

It said that Lebanon’s navy detained three of the Syrians when they returned to the coast and that the other five are still missing.

Lebanon is host to the highest number of refugees per capita in the world, with about one million Syrians — or nearly a quarter of the small Arab country’s population.

In September, a child drowned after a boat carrying 39 migrants hoping to reach Cyprus capsized off the northern Lebanese coast.