Dozens of migrants die on boat in Mediterranean

Italian navy says at least 40 dead while hundreds of people were rescued, as it continues operation to save more.

    Italy's navy was leading the rescue mission to save the migrants off the Libyan coast [Reuters]
    Italy's navy was leading the rescue mission to save the migrants off the Libyan coast [Reuters]

    At least 40 migrants have died on a boat in the southern Mediterranean, Italian authorities have reported.

    The Italian navy wrote on Twitter on Saturday that it was involved in a rescue operation to try and save the other migrants on board.

    It was initially reported that the boat had sunk, but an Italian navy spokesman later told the Reuters news agency that the boat had not capsized.

    Explained: One Minute Mediterranean Migrants

    Those killed were believed to have been stuck in the hold of the boat, spokesman Costantino Fantasia said.

    The navy said 300 people have been rescued during the operation so far.

    Italy's ANSA news agency reported that the boat was located about 33km off Libya's coast and was holding about 400 people on board.

    The naval vessel Cigala Fulgosi was leading the rescue mission.

    The Mediterranean has become the world's most deadly crossing point for migrants.

    Last Tuesday, up to 50 migrants went missing when a large rubber dinghy sank in the Mediterranean Sea and nearly 2,000 have been picked up this week.

    Around 200 migrants were presumed killed earlier this month off the coast of Libya when their boat capsized

    Italy has become one of the main entry points in Europe for immigrants seeking a better life, with more than 85,000 migrants - mostly from Africa and the Middle East - reaching the country so far this year via the Mediterranean.

    However, many of the boats are not seaworthy and the United Nations estimates that some 1,900 would-be migrants have died since January trying to make the crossing.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Zimbabwe military's statement after seizing power

    Major General SB Moyo addresses the nation after Zimbabwe's military seizes state TV, blocks off government offices.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Can Aamir Khan create lasting change in Indian society or is he just another Bollywood star playing the role of a hero?