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Two arrested from sailboat in distress with 70 aboard

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) – Greece’s coast guard said yesterday two people have been arrested on suspicion of migrant smuggling and endangering lives for steering a sailboat with a further 68 people on board that ran into trouble off the western coast of Greece last week.

The coast guard said the two – an Iraqi and a Syrian – appeared before a prosecutor in southern Greece and were remanded in custody pending trial.

The sailboat had set out from Turkey and was heading to Italy when it ran into trouble off western Greece last Thursday, the coast guard said. Those on board were from Iran, Syria and Iraq, and were 52 men, nine women and nine children.

A search and rescue operation was launched and the sailboat was escorted safely to the southwestern Greek port of Pylos last Friday afternoon.

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