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Greek authorities picked up 56 survivors from the sea on Monday during a large rescue operation after a vessel carrying an unknown number of migrants sank off the southern island of Crete. 

The mishap left three migrants dead that included a woman and two children.
   
The Coast Guard officials said, efforts are on to locate other people who might be in the water. 

They said, a Greek naval frigate and an air force helicopter were taking part in the search, together with two Coast Guard boats and three merchant ships.
 
Greece's east Aegean Sea islands are the typical destination of thousands of asylum-seekers from the West Asia, Africa and Asia who cross illegally from the nearby Turkish coast in hope of finding a better life in the European Union.


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