Cyprus Mail

Migrants detained near Limnitis (updated)

Forty seven people who appear to be Syrians and are believed to have arrived on the island by boat were found by police on Tuesday near the Limnitis buffer zone area.

According to the police, the group, 11 children, ten women and 26 men were located near Kato Pyrgos in the Tylliria region.

State broadcaster CyBC reported that the marine police located a boat with refugees at around noon and when they approached it, it changed course and headed towards Morphou Bay in the occupied areas.

Some two hours later, immigrants reportedly began to arrive on foot on a Kato Pyrgos beach through the buffer zone at Limnitis. So far 47 people have arrived, while members of the civil defence, the police and the marine police are standing by for the possible arrival of others.

Some of them were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Investigations continue to verify their identity, police said. Some of them reportedly said that their boat had broken down.

CyBC reported that police located earlier in the day two pickup trucks in Mansoura, near Kato Pyrgos, with four Syrians who live in Nicosia and who told officers they were just visiting the area.

Last month marine patrols were increased in the shoreline off Kato Pyrgos village, in the Tylliria area on the island’s northwestern coast, after authorities received a tip-off that people smugglers were planning to drop 400 migrants off the coast.

Thirty immigrants of Syrian origin in total had arrived in the Tylliria area from Mersin, Turkey in the first two weeks of August on two separate occasions, seeking asylum.

Defence minister Ionas Nicolaou said that authorities believe that there was an organised plan in place and that the increased patrols would help trace immediately of any boats transporting immigrants.

On Monday it was reported in the north that 58 migrants were arrested by the Turkish coastguard on Sunday reportedly on their way to Cyprus.

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