Hundreds of migrants stranded off Cyprus coast rescued -UPDATED

One of the survivors said each migrant paid about $6,500 to human smugglers to escape the war in Syria in the hopes to reach Europe

Hundreds of migrants stranded off Cyprus coast rescued -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

Around three hundreds of migrants who were stranded on a vessel that broke down near Northern Cyprus' coast are en route to Turkey, officials said on Sunday.

The vessel broke down on Saturday, 4.5 miles away from the port city of Girne in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 

The survivors were transported to a sports hall in Girne city for accommodation, after being successfully rescued from the wrecked vessel on Saturday.

A total of 10 migrants, including one pregnant woman, have stayed in Northern Cyprus to receive medical treatment, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

The rescue ship was escorted by security forces and medical teams, until it arrived in the Turkish port province of Mersin.

The migrants said they paid thousands of dollars to human traffickers to escape the civil war in Syria. 

The smugglers promised the migrants they would end up at a European destination.

"We were stranded in the middle of the sea without food and water for four days. The ones to whom we paid money promised to take us to Italy," Ahmad Suruf, one of the survivors, said.

The rescue operation, which was launched on Saturday, was hampered by poor weather conditions. 

The migrants, however, were eventually rescued.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Kasım 2014, 23:47