IZMIR, Turkey

A total of 78 irregular migrants were rescued off Turkey’s Aegean coast, sources said Wednesday.

Coast Guard teams launched an operation and rescued 40 Afghan migrants who were in a rubber boat which had been directed to Turkish territorial waters by the Greek Coast Guard.

Separately, Coast Guard teams also rescued 38 irregular migrants from a boat drifting off the Aegean coast.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution.

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