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Greek authorities confront smugglers, 3 injured

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Posted at 10:21 AM, Sep 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-22 08:35:09-04

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say three people have been injured during a confrontation between the coast guard and smugglers trying to ferry migrants from Turkey to an eastern Aegean Sea island.

A coast guard statement says the smugglers ignored orders to stop their speedboat off Pserimos on Monday and repeatedly tried to sink the coast guard vessel by ramming it, injuring one of the two officers aboard.

Using gunfire, the officers incapacitated the smuggler's engine and boarded their boat, finding 12 migrants hidden there — including two men with severe gunshot injuries — and two suspected smugglers, both Turks.

The migrants were only identified as 10 men and two women.

Greece is a major point of entry for people from strife-torn regions seeking a better life in Europe.