Memorial scheduled in Vancouver for two drowned Syrian boys

COQUITLAM, B.C. — A memorial service is planned in Vancouver today for two little Syrian boys who drowned in Turkey in a tragedy that has attracted worldwide attention.

A picture of the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi on a Turkish beach received prominent worldwide attention and has sparked debate about the plight of refugees from the region.

of Coquitlam, B-C, says her nephew, his five-year-old brother Ghalib, and their mother, Rehanna, were buried in Syria by her brother, Abdullah, on Friday.

She says the family was fleeing Syria, where Islamic State militants had beheaded one of her sister-in-law’s relatives.

Kurdi says the trip was the “only option” left for the family to have a better life in a European country, possibly Germany or Sweden.

She says Abdullah embarked on the risky journey with his family after a bid by another brother to seek refugees status in failed.

Kurdi says she sent Abdullah five-thousand dollars to pay smugglers to take them on a boat.

Family friends have set up an online fundraising campaign to help the Kurdi family.

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