Migrant boat carrying 55 people intercepted off Cyprus

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Athens, Jan. 4, 2020 A boat carrying 55 migrants was intercepted off the Mediterranean island of Cyprus overnight, state broadcaster RIK reported on Monday.

The boat was discovered by a police patrol vessel.

The migrants, among them 14 minors, are said to be in good health and were taken to the small port on the holiday resort of Agia Napa.

Where the migrants came from was initially unclear. Authorities believe they set out from Syria or Lebanon, state television reported.

The group will be taken to a reception centre provided they test negative for Coronavirus.

Migrants arrive daily to Cyprus in boats from Turkey and the Middle East.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades has repeatedly expressed concern about the situation on the Mediterranean island and asked the EU for help.

In recent years the number of migrants coming to Cyprus has increased dramatically.

According to the police, close to 10,000 migrants were picked up on the island in 2019.

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