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Syrian Refugees Literally Dying To Reach Europe

Of the more than 2.5 million Syrians displaced by conflict, more and more are making the harrowing trip to Europe's shore. They seek the promise of safety and security — but death, detention, and disappointment often follow.

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On October 11, a boat carrying as many as 500 people, many from Syria, sank off the coast of Malta after departing from Libya. This woman and her son were among the luckier ones: up to 300 people are still missing.

Darrin Zammit Lupi / Reuters

Survivors claimed that Libyan officials fired on the boat two hours after departing. Libyan authorities denied involvement.

That same night, a boat carrying 112 passengers, including 40 Syrian refugees, sank off the coast of Egypt. According to UNHCR, the 100 who survived were detained in Egyptian police stations.

Last week France pledged to take in 500 people who had fled Syria. Germany has opened its borders to 5,000 Syrian refugees, like this child now returning to school.

Other countries have been less welcoming. To keep out traffickers, Bulgaria plans to build a fence along its border. Greece is increasing patrols, detaining Syrians like this child who tried to enter from Turkey.

Former BuzzFeed World Reporter, Current BuzzFeed News Contributor

Contact Miriam Berger at

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