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Turkish coast guard officers arrive with bodies of migrants that were drowned as they were trying to reach Greece,
at a port near Izmir, Turkey, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016. Turkey's coast guard says 12 migrants have drowned after a boat taking them to the Greek islands capsized in rough weather. About 40 migrants have died so far this year off Turkey's coast while trying to cross into Greece, the coast guard says. (IHA via AP) TURKEY OUT
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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — At least 42 people, including 17 children, died in two separate incidents of boats smuggling migrants or refugees sinking off two Greek islands overnight into Friday. Dozens survived, and a search and rescue operation was underway for more potential survivors.

In the first incident, a wooden boat carrying 49 people sank in the early hours off the small islet of Farmakonissi in the eastern Aegean. Forty of the passengers managed to make it to shore, while authorities rescued one girl and recovered eight bodies from the sea — those of six children and two women, the coast guard said.

A few hours later, a wooden sailboat carrying an undetermined number of people sank off the islet of Kalolimnos, south of Farmakonissi.

In this photo taken on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, an Afghan woman wait her turn at the Tabakika registration center, Chios island, Greece. Even during the
In this photo taken on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, an Afghan woman wait her turn at the Tabakika registration center, Chios island, Greece. Even during the winter, overloaded dinghies continue to arrive in droves on Greece?s eastern Aegean islands bordering Turkey, halting only when the sea is too rough. The crossing is brief but perilous, and hundreds have died. Six bodies were recovered off the coast of nearby Samos island earlier this month. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) (Petros Giannakouris/AP)

The coast guard rescued 26 people — 22 men and four women — and recovered 34 bodies — those of 16 women, seven men and 11 children. Coast guard vessels, a helicopter and private boats were searching for survivors. Authorities said the survivors' estimates of how many people had originally been on board varied from about 40 to 70, so it was unclear how many people were missing.

Greece has become the main gateway for people fleeing war and poverty trying to reach the European Union. More than 800,000 people entered Greece last year, mostly using unseaworthy boats to reach Greek islands from the nearby Turkish coast. Hundreds have died in the attempt.



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