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Greek coast guard exchanges shots with a man piloting a migrant smuggling boat. No injuries reported

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek coast guard patrol boat’s crew exchanged gunfire Friday with a man piloting a speedboat trying to smuggle migrants from neighboring Turkey to a Greek island, authorities said.

No injuries were reported from the shooting off the eastern Aegean Sea island of Chios, and a coast guard statement said that the smuggling vessel headed back towards the Turkish shore.

It said the man steering the speedboat opened fire on the patrol vessel with a handgun, adding that the coast guard crew “fired shots in a secure sector.” It provided no further detail on the shooting.

Greece is a major point of entry for people from the Middle East, Africa and Asia seeking a better life in the affluent European Union. Most cross in small boats from Turkey, which are either piloted by migrants and abandoned or brought over by smugglers who then speed back to Turkey.

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Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

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