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Cyprus expects a new wave of migrants from Turkey

 

Cypriot authorities expect a new wave of Syrian refugees from Turkey in the coming weeks after more than 300 arrived in two boats at the weekend.

According to information gathered by the authorities a new wave migrants from Turkey is expected in October as “thousands of people are waiting in line” to get on a boat.

So far this year 761 migrants – mostly Syrian – have arrived on the island from Turkey

Two boats crowded with 305 Syrian refugees arrived in Cyprus overnight, police said on Sunday, one of the largest group landings of migrants to the island since the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011.

The vessels were tracked sailing to the north-west of the island and were thought to have set off from the Turkish coastal city of Mersin.

Cyprus is the closest European Union member state to Syria, yet many fleeing conflict have largely avoided the island because it has no direct easy access to the rest of the continent.

The single largest group arrival since the Syrian conflict started was 345 people who were rescued in September 2014.

Police have detained a 29-year-old Syrian in connection with smuggling the migrants to Cyprus for $2,000 each.

Some 298 Syrians were taken to a reception camp outside Nicosia to be processed.

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