MUGLA, Turkey

The Turkish Coast Guard rescued five asylum seekers off the Aegean coast, security sources said on Thursday.

All five of the rescued asylum seekers are Pakistani nationals, according to the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking the media.

They were on a rubber boat that was forced into Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard and were rescued near the coast of Inceburun in the southwestern Mugla province.

The asylum seekers were taken to the provincial migration office, the sources added.

Turkey has been one of the main routes for asylum seekers wanting to reach Europe, especially since Syria’s civil war started in 2011.

Turkey hosts nearly 4 million Syrians, more than any other country in the world.

* Writing by Gozde Bayar

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