Two shipwrecks – one off Libya’s coast – leave several immigrants dead


At least 11 people died and more than 60 were missing, including 26 children, following two immigrant shipwrecks off Italy’s southern shores, aid groups, coastguard officials and UN agencies said on Monday.

UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration and UNICEF said in a joint statement one of the two boats had set off from Libya, carrying immigrants from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The German aid group RESQSHIP, which operates the Nadir rescue boat, said it picked up 51 people from a sinking wooden boat, including two who were unconscious, and found 10 bodies trapped in the lower deck of the vessel.

Survivors were handed over to the Italian coastguard and taken ashore on Monday morning, while the Nadir was making its way to the Italian island of Lampedusa, towing the wooden boat with the deceased.

A report by Reuters said that the second shipwreck took place about 200 km east of the Italian region of Calabria, as a boat that had set off from Turkey caught fire and overturned. The UN agencies said immigrants from the second shipwreck came from Iran, Syria and Iraq.

They said 64 people were missing at sea, while 11 were rescued and taken ashore by the Italian coastguard, along with the body of a woman. Survivors said that 66 people were unaccounted for, including at least 26 children, some only a few months old.


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