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Rescued Syrians to seek asylum

File photo: migrant reception camp in Kokkinotrimithia

A group of 17 Syrian refugees who had been rescued off the Cape Greco coast on Monday afternoon intend to apply for political asylum, the Cyprus News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Their boat had been spotted at around noon on Monday, at a distance of some 50 nautical miles off Cape Greco in Ayia Napa, police said.

At around 5pm, the boat was approached by marine police, who helped them board the patrol boat, leaving behind the boat on which they arrived because of stormy weather conditions.

The Syrians were transferred to the Larnaca police station at around 8pm to verify their details and to complete investigations into the case. Later they were taken to the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre.

Of the 17 on board the boat that set off from Lebanon on Monday, 11 were men, five children aged three to 15, and one woman. All are in good health although a three-year-old girl was taken to Larnaca general hospital with fever where she was treated and discharged.

The refugees told police that they paid €1,000 each to an unknown person before being led to the boat with Cyprus as its destination.

The boat was about five metres long and made of fibreglass, police said.

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