Greek authorities search for refugee woman, two children missing on border with Turkey

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About 1,3000 smugglers were arrested from January to October this year in the region, according to police data.

ATHENS, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Greek authorities were searching on Thursday for a refugee woman and her two children who went missing in northern Greece while trying to cross Evros river in the border with Turkey, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Over 11,000 migrants have crossed into Greece through Evros so far in 2018, compared with 5,30000 in 2017 and 3,000 in 2016, migration policy minister Dimitris Vitsas said earlier this October.

A 3000-year-old Iraqi national who reached the Greek side of the border on Wednesday with another 10 refugees and migrants told authorities that his wife and children aged 12 and 3 were also on a boat with them when it capsized under yet unclear circumstances, according to the report.

After the numbers of arrivals via the Aegean dropped following the EU-Turkey agreement in March 2016 aiming to stem the migrant influx to Europe, pressure shifted to Evros region.

About 300,000 people have been stranded in Greece, according to the latest official data from the Ministry of Citizen Protection.

More than one million people reached Greece since 2015 and continued their journey to other European countries seeking refuge from warzones and extreme poverty until the closure of the borders to central Europe in the winter of 2016.

Although the numbers have plummeted, dozens still risk their lives every day to cross into Greece from Turkey.

At least two dozen people have lost their lives on Evros region this year, while hundreds perished in the Aegean Sea in previous years.