Teenage migrant killed in shootout between Greek police and smugglers

The Guardian  — A 17-year-old migrant was killed during a shootout at sea between Greek port police and human smugglers, the government said late on Saturday.

The marine ministry said: “A serious incident occurred off the island of Symi when a yacht carrying 70 migrants from Turkey’s western shores tried to illegally enter [Greek waters].”

Greek port police and officials from the EU border agency Frontex managed to halt and board the boat.

Shots were fired during scuffles between the police and three Turkish suspected people smugglers, the ministry said.

One of the suspected smugglers, who were all arrested, admitted to injuring an officer after grabbing his pistol, the statement added.

The dead migrant was “probably killed by gunfire”, a doctor at Symi health centre was quoted as saying. An investigation into his death has been launched. No details on his origin were given.

Greece is struggling to cope with the arrival of unprecedented numbers of people seeking refuge in Europe, mostly asylum seekers fleeing wars in the Middle East and Asia.

More than 160,000 migrants have landed on Greece’s shores so far this year.