close
This ad will auto close in 10 seconds

Rescuers save 366 migrants from boats in Mediterranean, 20 reported dead

Rescuers saved 366 migrants from rickety boats trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy.


Rescuers save 366 migrants from boats in Mediterranean, 20 reported dead

Rome: Rescuers saved 366 migrants from rickety boats trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy but at least 20 people were reported to have drowned, Italian police said on Saturday. 

The survivors, who were rescued in four separate operations, were crammed onto three rubber dinghies and a wooden fishing boat. They were all taken to the Sicilian port of Augusta, where they were questioned on Friday evening by the Italian police unit Interforce, which combats illegal immigration.

The Norwegian ship Siem Pilot went to the aid of one dinghy that sank in the Sicilian Channel, but many migrants were already in the sea when it arrived, Antonio Panzanaro, an Interforce official, told Reuters. One corpse was recovered but survivors said that at least 20 people had drowned before the ship arrived, he said. 

There were 82 women and 25 children among the 366 people rescued, he said. The survivors were mainly from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Bangladesh.
Seven people were arrested from the four boats, including their drivers, on suspicion of people-trafficking, he said.

Italy has long been on the front line of seaborne migration from Africa to Europe, and is now the main point of entry after the European Union struck a deal with Turkey to stem flows to Greece amid Europe`s worst migration crisis since World War Two.

Slightly fewer migrants arrived on Italian shores in the first six months of 2016 compared with the same period last year, but the number of deaths on the route has risen, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

More than 67,000 seaborne migrants arrived in Italy between Jan. 1 and July 3, according to the IOM.

From Zee News

0 Comment - Join the Discussions

trending

photo gallery

video


WION FEATURES

Video: Suspected Kashmiri militants play cricket with AK47 as wicket

Nice, France: A year later, through the eyes of a Muslim

Top 5 inventions from Israel (Tech check)

Judaism, India's oldest foreign religion

Vegetarian beef farmer puts cows to pasture

Disabled dogs in Taiwan get hot new wheels