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A 17-year-old immigrant was killed in a shootout between Coast Guard officers and traffickers

30 August 2015 / 13:08:13  GRReporter
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Yesterday, at around 3 PM, in the waters off the island of Symi, there was a serious clash between the Coast Guard officers and traffickers trying to smuggle in about 70 illegal immigrants on a yacht. As a result, a 17-year-old immigrant lost his life while a border policeman and a trafficker were wounded. The young man died from a gunshot wound.

As the Border Police statement says, during the pursuit, while border police and a Latvian FRONTEX vessel were trying to stop the traffickers' yacht, the latter repeatedly tried to sink the Latvian boat and make an escape back to Turkey.

When the boat was finally halted, border police officers stepped on board and got involved in a violent clash with the traffickers. According to the testimony of the Coast Guard, one of smugglers, allegedly a Turkish national, assaulted and wounded a border policeman and took away his weapon. Gunfire was exchanged.

As a result, a 17-year-old was shot down, and one of the traffickers was wounded. The border policeman sustained a hit in the face by a truncheon.

The youth's body was taken to Rhodes for an autopsy.

As ordered by the marine minister, Christos Zois, and the Greek Coast Guard chief, Vice Admiral Athanasios Athanasopoulos, the South Aegean Coast Guard head has arrived on the island of Symi to investigate the cause of the accident.

The Rhodes prosecution has also been informed.

The marine minister said in his statement: "I express my sadness at the loss of a young person. Human life is very precious, and Coast Guard officers know that pretty well. On a daily basis and in adverse conditions, they are making extreme efforts to protect and save thousands of people who have become victims of unscrupulous traffickers."

Tags: smugglers yacht Coast Guard Border Police Symi island victim clash
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