At least 700 migrants are feared drowned in a series of shipwrecks off the coast of Libya in the last few days, the UN refugee agency says. BBC reports.
The boats sank south of Italy on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday as the migrants tried to reach Europe in unseaworthy vessels.
Over 700 migrants are feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats.
Spring weather has led to a surge of people attempting the perilous crossing from Africa to Europe. EU ships have rescued almost 13,000 migrants this week, Italy says.
Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone Sunday that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers’ boat which capsized Wednesday. The Italian navy took horrific pictures of that capsizing even as it rushed to rescue all those thrown into the sea from the boat.
She said about 550 others are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning after leaving the western Libyan port of Sabratha a day earlier. She says refugees say that boat, which was carrying about 670 people, didn’t have an engine and was being towed by another packed smuggling boat before it capsized.
About 25 people from the capsized boat managed to reach the first boat and survive, 79 others from it were rescued by international patrol boats and 15 bodies were recovered.