The body of a young child was recovered from the Aegean Sea on Saturday, two weeks after two deadly incidents in the area involving boats loaded with migrants.
The body was found off the island of Naxos in Greece and authorities estimated late on Saturday that the victim, who was 33.5 inches tall, was about three years old.
The body will be taken to the city of Piraeus, a port in the capital Athens, for forensic examination.
On Thursday, four other bodies belonging to a man, a woman and two pre-teen girls were found, three off Naxos and one off the nearby island of Paros.
On December 22nd, 12 people, all believed to be from Iraq, were rescued from an inflatable dinghy off Folegandros in the southern Cyclades, 180km southeast of Athens. The bodies of three unidentified men were recovered from the sea.
Survivors of that incident said at least 17 others were missing.
Two days later, 41 people were rescued after a sailboat carrying about 80 migrants overturned northwest of Paros.
As Greece has tightened patrols off its eastern Aegean islands, close to the Turkish coastline, smugglers based in Turkey have increasingly packed yachts with migrants and refugees and sent them towards Italy.
In 2021, more than 116,000 asylum-seekers crossed the Mediterranean to reach European Union countries, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said. The agency said 55 per cent travelled illegally to Italy, 35 per cent to Spain and 7 per cent to Greece, with the remainder heading to Malta and Cyprus. – Associated Press