Turkey detains eight smugglers after raiding ship carrying over 250 migrants

Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained eight suspected smugglers after foiling an attempt to smuggle 276 migrants to Europe on board a ship docked near the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

Police officers and coast guard teams launched an operation on the ship preparing to sail with the migrants, including 46 women and 59 kids, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The destination of the ship was not immediately known. The migrants were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Syria, Somalia and Iran, Anadolu said.

Turkey, home to about 3.7 million Syrian refugees, is a popular crossing point for migrants looking to reach Europe via Greek islands.

Many rely on smugglers and face risky sea routes, often ending with fatalities.

Last month, one a boat carrying nearly 60 migrants capsized in the eastern Lake Van, near the border with Iran. Eleven were detained in connection with the incident, while six bodies were recovered, according to the Turkish Interior Ministry.