Police: 305 Syrian migrants reach Cyprus on 2 boats

In this Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 video frame grab image, made available by Turkey's Coast Guard Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, a Syrian migrant among others, briefly lifts a small child, on a rubber dinghy while trying to cross to Greece from Turkey's Izmir province. Authorities say 40 Syrian migrants, among them 18 children, were stopped Friday from illegally crossing to Greece. Turkey and the European Union signed a deal last year to curb the illegal flow of migrants to Greece. Turkey is host to more than 3 million Syrians who have fled the ongoing civil war in their country. (Turkish Coast Guard via AP)

NICOSIA, Cyprus — Cyprus police say a 36-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly driving one of a pair of boats that brought 305 Syrian refugees to the island's northwestern coast.

Police spokesman Michalis Ioannou said Sunday that the 202 men, 30 women and 73 children who arrived at around midnight are thought to be the largest number of migrants to reach Cyprus in a single day.

Ioannou says they departed from Mersin, Turkey on Saturday.

He says the passengers reported paying $2,000 (1,658 euros) each for the trip. Some with relatives in Cyprus have expressed the desire to remain there. Others said they want to go to Germany or to Scandinavian countries.

All will be taken to a reception center except for a woman and her newborn baby, who were hospitalized.

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