World

Greece says 21 die in migrant boat sinkings in Aegean Sea, scores rescued

  • A girl and a boy react after arriving from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II is entering a perilous and uncharted phase, as the usual pattern of migrant season ending by autumn is overturned by intensifying fighting in Syria and overcrowding in refugee centers in Turkey and Lebanon.  (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

    A girl and a boy react after arriving from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II is entering a perilous and uncharted phase, as the usual pattern of migrant season ending by autumn is overturned by intensifying fighting in Syria and overcrowding in refugee centers in Turkey and Lebanon. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for a parliament meeting about the government's migrant policy in Athens, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Greek authorities say 21 people have died after two boats carrying migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece sank overnight, in the latest deadly incidents in the eastern Aegean Sea. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras arrives for a parliament meeting about the government's migrant policy in Athens, Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Greek authorities say 21 people have died after two boats carrying migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece sank overnight, in the latest deadly incidents in the eastern Aegean Sea. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A boy tries to warm up on a beach with a blanket provided by volunteers shortly after arriving with around 125 people from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II is entering a perilous and uncharted phase, as the usual pattern of migrant season ending by autumn is overturned by intensifying fighting in Syria and overcrowding in refugee centers in Turkey and Lebanon.  (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

    A boy tries to warm up on a beach with a blanket provided by volunteers shortly after arriving with around 125 people from the Turkish coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II is entering a perilous and uncharted phase, as the usual pattern of migrant season ending by autumn is overturned by intensifying fighting in Syria and overcrowding in refugee centers in Turkey and Lebanon. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)  (The Associated Press)

Greek authorities say 21 people have died after two boats carrying migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece sank overnight, in the latest deadly incidents in the eastern Aegean Sea.

The Merchant Marine Ministry said 18 people were killed and 138 people were rescued near the island of Kalymnos, while another three died and six were rescued in a separate incident early Friday off the island of Rhodes.

The deaths occurred amid a surge of crossings to Greek islands involving migrants and refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries ahead of winter and as European governments weight taking tougher measures to try and limit the number of arrivals in Europe.

Eight people were killed early Thursday after a boat capsized off the island of Lesbos.