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Drowned migrant child’s photo sparks global outcry

DOGAN NEWS AGENCY / AFP | A Turkish police officer carries a migrant child's lifeless body near Bodrum, in southern Turkey, on September 2, 2015

An image of a drowned toddler washed up on a Turkish beach was shared widely on social media and made the cover of many European newspapers on Thursday, drawing further attention to the grim reality faced by hundreds of thousands of migrants.


The picture showed a child wearing a bright red t-shirt and shorts lying face-down in the surf on a beach near the resort town of Bodrum, one of Turkey's prime tourist resorts.

In a second image, a policeman carries the tiny dead body away.

Turkish media identified the boy as 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose 5-year-old brother died on the same boat. Media reports said he was from the northern war-torn Syrian town of Kobane near the Turkish border.

In the first few hours after the accident, the image had been shared via Twitter thousands of times. The two photos made the cover of many British dailies, including the Times.

The confirmed dead included five children and one woman. Seven people were rescued and two reached the shore in life jackets. The official said hopes were fading of saving the two people still missing.

Tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland have descended on Turkey’s Aegean coast this summer to board boats to Greece, their gateway to the European Union.

Aid agencies estimate that, over the past month, about 2,000 people a day have been making the short crossing to Greece’s eastern islands on rubber dinghies.

So far this year, more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, the UNHCR said.


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