The Latest: Austria wants Balkan route to stay closed

The Latest on the continuing issues of mass migration to Europe (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

Austria's interior minister says the Balkan migrant route should remain closed permanently and that the "clock will not be turned back."

Austria's introduction of a refugee cap last month set off a chain reaction of border restrictions that has shut down the route used by hundreds of thousands of people last year to transit from Greece to central Europe. Thousands of migrants are stranded in Greece.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told German daily Die Welt ahead of a meeting Thursday with her European Union counterparts: "My position is clear — the Balkan route will remain closed, and permanently." She added that "the closure of the Balkan route is going to plan and this clock will not be turned back."


8:30 a.m.

Turkey's state-run agency says five migrants, including a t3-month-old baby, have drowned when a speed boat taking them to Greece sank. The Anadolu Agency says the boat went down early on Thursday off Turkey's western coast, on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos.

The agency said nine people were rescued from the boat that was carrying Afghan and Iranian migrants.