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Six Afghan Refugee Children Die Off Coast Of Turkey

Refugees float as they hold a tube after a dinghy carrying Syrian and Afghan refugees deflated some 100 meters from the Greek island of Lesbos in September 13.

Reports from Istanbul say six Afghan children, including a six-month-old baby, died after a boat carrying refugees capsized early on December 8 in the Aegean Sea off the western coast of Turkey.

Authorities say eight people who were in the boat were rescued near the city of Izmir, including a 12-year-old boy.

More than 500,000 refugees – mostly Syria’s civil war, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- have traveled through Turkey and risked their lives in small boats during 2015 to reach Greek islands, the first stop in the European Union before continuing on to wealthier EU countries to the north and west.

Turkey struck a deal with the EU on November 29, pledging to help stem the flow of migrants into Europe in return for more than $3 billion in financial aid to help host refugees.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, Dogan, and Anadolu