NICOSIA, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Cypriot authorities turned back a boat with 56 irregular immigrants who came from Lebanon, the state-run Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Monday.
CNA said the boat was initially spotted on Sunday, sailing about 16 nautical miles off the southeastern coast of the island.
Cypriot police said that they sent out two patrol boats, which also carried nurses and interpreters, to investigate, and later reported that 39 men, seven women and 10 children were on board. CNA quoted police as saying that the boat was later turned back to Lebanon.
It did not give the nationality of those on the boat, but said that it had sailed from the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.
Cypriot authorities usually allow into the island people who come from war-torn areas of Syria.
The Interior Ministry had said time and again that Cyprus has already exceeded its limits in receiving refugees from Syria and undocumented immigrants from several Asian and African countries.