Greece: stranded on a small island, a migrant mother gives birth

According to Greek authorities, an Eritrean woman gave birth on an uninhabited rocky islet after traveling with other migrants from neighboring Turkey.

A coastguard official said 29 adult Eritreans? 24 men and five women? were spotted on Wednesday while on patrol near the Greek island of Lesbos. One of the women had just given birth. They were also rescued and taken to Lesbos, with both mother and baby hospitalized. “They were spotted by a patrol and are all in good health,” the coastguard official said on condition of anonymity as no official announcement has yet been released. “Both mother and baby are also healthy,” the official said. The migrants were found on the islet of Barbalias, about three kilometers (two miles) east of Lesvos and about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Turkish coast. Local authorities said the baby was a boy. Lesbos was the most active entry point into the European Union during the 2015-2016 crisis, when hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fled wars in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. But Greece has steadily tightened its migration policies, and many people leaving Turkey now take the longer and more dangerous route to Turkey. Over the weekend, the coastguard rescued 108 migrants from a leaky, rudderless sailboat near the holiday island of Mykonos.

Separately on Wednesday, a man suspected of being a migrant was found dead in the trunk of a car in an artificial lake near the Greek-Turkish border. Border Police officers chased the vehicle after the driver refused to stop for a traffic check. Five other passengers, all also believed to be migrants who entered the country illegally, and the driver were arrested, police said.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Lynn A. Saleh