Cyprus police bring in boat with 34 Syrian migrants aboard

Syrian refugees at a temporary accommodation centre in Cyprus on Nov 5, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

NICOSIA, CYPRUS (AP) - Cyprus police officers rescued 34 Syrian migrants on Sunday (Dec 22) after spotting their boat off the Mediterranean island nation's north-western coast.

A police patrol vessel was dispatched to escort the boat to a harbour.

Police said the boat had set sail from Alanya, Turkey.

The migrants were all male and included a 17-year-old.

All 34 were taken to a migrant reception centre outside the Cypriot capital of Nicosia.

Police arrested a 19-year-old man who was aboard the boat on suspicion of people trafficking and abetting the illegal entry of third-country nationals.

Cyprus says it has reached its limit to accommodate an influx of migrants and has asked other European Union members to take at least 5,000 of those who reached the country.

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