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Eleven migrants dead, dozens missing after Mediterranean shipwrecks

The French boat took on board 12 survivors, who were transferred to a cargo ship and then onto an Italian coast guard patrol
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 14:47 IST

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Rome: Eleven migrants died and dozens were reported missing on Monday following two shipwrecks off the southern coasts of Italy, according to a German charity and the Italian coast guard.

German aid group RESQSHIP, which operates the Nadir rescue ship, 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.

"Our thoughts are with their families. We are angry and sad," it wrote on X.

RESQSHIP gave no details about where or when the rescue operation took place, but according to the marinetraffic.com tracking service, the Nadir was off the eastern Tunisian port of Sfax on Monday.

Separately, the Italian coast guard said it was looking for an unspecified number of missing migrants following the shipwreck of a sailing boat about 220 kilometres east of the southern region of Calabria.

It said the partially sunken boat, presumed to have set off from a Turkish port, was first spotted by a French boat in international waters where Italian and Greek search and rescue zones overlap.

The French boat took on board 12 survivors, who were transferred to a cargo ship and then onto an Italian coast guard patrol. One died just after the group was taken ashore to Calabria.

Italian public broadcaster RAI said "at least 50" migrants were thought to be missing, while veteran migration journalist Sergio Scandura wrote on X that at least 64 people were unaccounted for. He said Afghans, Iranians and Iraqi Kurds were on the sailing boat.

According to the United Nations' International Organisation for Migration, more than 23,500 migrants have died or gone missing in the central Mediterranean since 2014, making it one the world's most dangerous migration routes.

Earlier this month 11 bodies were recovered from the sea off the coast of Libya.

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Published 17 June 2024, 14:47 IST

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