Boat Carrying 124 Refugees Lands on Corsica

AJACCIO, Corsica (AP) - More than 100 refugees who say they are
Kurds and Tunisians landed Friday on the southern shore of Corsica
after a lengthy journey at sea, officials said.

It was an unusual occurrence on this French Mediterranean
island, a popular vacation destination that rarely sees arrivals of
migrants.

The local gendarme service and the regional administration said
there were 124 people in the group, including women and children,
and described them as refugees. They were unloaded from a boat
early Friday onto a beach in Bonifacio before the boat took off
again.

Naval planes, gendarmes and customs officers were searching for
the boat.

The refugees were being taken to a Bonifacio gymnasium. Some
said they were Kurds who had arrived from Syria, while others said
they were Tunisians, Corsica prefect Stephane Bouillon said. It was
not immediately clear whether those said to be of Kurdish origin
were from Iraq, Iran or Turkey.

"We must verify their stories," Bouillon said on RTL radio,
adding that the prosecutor's office has opened an investigation.


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