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Families of Pakistani migrants who died in capsized boat in Turkey demand repatriation of bodies

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The families of at least five Pakistanis who reportedly died when their boat capsized after illegally crossing the Iran-Turkey border on June 27 have urged government authorities to take measures for the repatriation of their bodies, according to the Pakistani Dawn news website.

There are conflicting reports about the number of fatalities of illegal migrants from the cities of Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin and Wazirabad; however, the death of five people, including three from the village of Adowal near Gujrat and two from Lalamusa have been confirmed by their families.

A boat carrying at least 80 to 100 illegal migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan capsized in Turkey’s Lake Van, which is situated close to the border with Iran and is used by human smugglers to avoid detection on the roads.

According to the Turkish media, 60 bodies have been recovered thus far from the sunken boat.

Former chairman of the Adowal union council Rukhsar Meelu, told Dawn that the families of three youths — Muhammad Mohsin, Ali Raza and Rehman Ashraf — had confirmed their deaths.

He said the Turkish authorities had buried all the deceased, and now the families were demanding the return of the bodies to Pakistan.

He said the deceased men had paid a sum of $2,600 per head to a local agent to reach Turkey and that their ultimate destination was Europe.

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