The Latest: Turkish coast guard intercepts 63 migrants

The Latest on the migrant and refugee influx in Europe (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

The Turkish coast guard has intercepted dozens of migrants as they tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.

A coast guard official in Izmir Province said 63 people were caught in the Aegean Sea and brought to the Turkish town of Dikili.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose their nationalities but at least some were Syrians.

The intervention comes two days before a deal to curb the flow of illegal migrants goes into effect.

Under the EU-Turkey deal, migrants who arrive illegally in Greece from Turkey will be turned back unless they apply for asylum and that claim is accepted. Dikili is one of the designated registration points for migrants who are sent back to Turkey.

-By Dominique Soguel


3:35 p.m.

More than 200 refugees and migrants are staging a protest on a highway linking Greece and Macedonia, demanding that Macedonia open its borders and allow them to continue their journeys to central and northern Europe.

The protest is being staged about 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the makeshift camp at the border town of Idomeni, where about 11,000 people have been stranded since Macedonia and other Balkan countries further north shut down the busiest migrant route. The protesters are blocking trucks from crossing into Macedonia, but not passenger vehicles.

Earlier Saturday, several dozen local people staged a protest at another location further from their town, demanding that the government shut down the camp and relocate migrants to transit centers across Greece.