Maintenance. We are currently updating the site. Please check back shortly

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Migrant boat carrying hundreds sinks south of Sicily

Source: Reuters - Mon, 12 May 2014 15:52 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-ref hum-war
A volunteer provides drinks to migrants getting off from San Giorgio vessel of Italian Navy at Sicilian harbour of Augusta April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

(Releads, adds details)

ROME, May 12 (Reuters) - Italian naval and coast guard vessels recovered 14 bodies and rescued around 200 people after a migrant boat sank in waters between Libya and southern Sicily, authorities said on Monday, a day after dozens of people were drowned in a similar incident.

Italy has struggled for decades with a stream of migrants travelling in small, unsafe boats from North Africa to the islet of Lampedusa, midway between Tunisia and Sicily, and the Arab Spring upheavals of 2011 and the continuing civil war in Syria has worsened the problem.

An Italian navy statement said two naval and two coast guard patrol boats and a vessel from the Guardia di Finanza customs police had joined the rescue operationon Monday and medical assistance was being provided to survivors.

On Sunday, at least 40 people died and 51 others were rescued after a boat carrying mostly sub-Sahara African migrants sank off Libya's coast east of Tripoli.

Well over 25,000 migrants have reached Italy in the first few months of this year. Libyan Navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Qassem said the numbers leaving had increased in the past few days but authorities did not know why.

Hundreds of migrants were drowned in two separate disasters last year that prompted the Italian government to step up air and marine patrols of the seas south of Sicily. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Elumami in Tripoli; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus