Halit Onur Sandal / AP

Nine refugees, including two children, reportedly drown near Turkey

Two more refugees were reportedly rescued, while another 11 apparently reached the shore on their own

A Turkish news agency says at least nine refugees — two of them children — have drowned in a new boat sinking accident off the Turkish coast.

The private Dogan news agency says the refugees drowned Tuesday near the Aegean coastal town of Seferihisar, which is close to the Greek island of Samos. Two refugees were rescued while 11 others had apparently managed to reach the shore, the report said.

Officials could not immediately be reached for confirmation.

On Saturday, at least 37 refugees, among them several babies and children, drowned after their boat struck rocks and capsized while attempting the short sea journey from the town of Ayvacik, north of Seferihisar, to the island of Lesbos.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of them fleeing violence in Syria and other parts of the Middle East, have come through the Mediterannean region over the past year as they seek asylum in Europe.

More than 500,000 people crossed through neighboring Greece in 2015, according to the United Nations. Drownings and other accidents at sea are frequent, with thousands of people dying before they reached the shore last year.

Al Jazeera and wire services

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