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Presumed deaths of 400 migrants among worst incidents – USA TODAY

Presumed deaths of 400 migrants among worst incidents

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Presumed deaths of 400 migrants among worst incidents

If the presumed deaths of some 400 migrants in the Mediterranean this week are confirmed, it would mark one of the deadliest crossing attempts in the past decade. More than 140 people have been rescued and

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Survivors of a capsized migrant boat off Libya have told the aid group Save the Children an estimated 400 people are believed to have drowned. The UN refugee agency says the shipwreck is among the deadliest single incidents in the last decade. (Apri AP

The presumed death of 400 North African migrants in the Mediterranean Sea this week marks one of the deadliest crossing attempts in the past decade.

More than 140 people have been rescued and eight bodies recovered so far from a double-deck boat that capsized Monday in the waters about 75 miles south of Italy’s Lampedusa island, the United Nation’s refugee agency said in a statement Wednesday. But survivors told the agency that some 400 others were aboard and are feared lost.

António Guterres of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for governments across the region to address the urgent situation.

“I was deeply shocked when hearing the news that another boat, an overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean and where 400 people died. This only demonstrates how important it is to have a robust rescue-at-sea mechanism, in the central Mediterranean,” he said in a statement.

Since last Friday alone, more than 8,500 people from North Africa have been rescued in the Mediterranean from several dozen boats and rubber dinghies, according to the Italian Coast Guard, UNHCR reported. Since the beginning of this year, some 31,500 people are known to have made crossing to Italy and Greece — the two largest countries receiving refugees.

About 500 are believed to have died during the crossings, raising this year’s death toll to 900 if Monday’s figures are confirmed. As sea and weather conditions improve, the number attempting to make the journey has been picking up and is only expected to climb further, UNHCR said.

Last year, some 219,000 refugees and migrants — many fleeing conflicts in Africa, Syria and Iraq — crossed the Mediterranean. At least 3,500 died, UNHCR reported. Exact death tolls are hard to determine because in many cases bodies are not found and the death tolls are based off survivor accounts or reports by family members.

More migrants come through Italy than through any other European country, in part because of its location. Lampedusa, a small Italian island, is closer to Tunisia than to Sicily.

“Rescue at sea of migrants must be a priority for Italy and for Europe, and the European Union should strengthen its capacity for search and rescue missions, as more people risk and lose their lives making these perilous journeys,” Save the Children’s President and CEO Carolyn Miles said in a statement Tuesday. “Children arriving have experienced harrowing journeys and are in desperate need of psychological support. Adequate care and protection should be provided to all children, in particular those who have suffered violence.”

Monday’s capsizing comes after some 300 migrants were feared dead in February off the coast of Lampedusa after trying to cross the Mediterranean in four rubber boats. Survivors coming ashore near Lampedusa reported the four vessels — described as dinghies — attempted to make the journey from Libya to Europe.

Here is a list of some of the deadliest migrant boat disasters, compiled by the Associated Press:

• Christmas, 1996: 300 believed drowned in the waters between Malta and Sicily.

• June 20, 2003: 50 corpses found, 160 migrants missing, 41 survivors in a shipwreck off Tunisia.

• Oct. 20, 2003: At least 70 dead in waters off Sicily.

• May 12, 2008: 50 dead off Sicily, including 47 who died aboard after suffering from exposure.

• May 6, 2011: Boat carrying more than 600 migrants is shipwrecked off Libyan coast. Hundreds reported missing.

• June 2, 2011: At least 270 missing from boat that carried 700 aboard off Tunisian coast.

• July 10, 2012: Motorized rubber dinghy deflates between Libya and tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa, 54 dead.

• December 2012: At least 21 people perish, and six listed as missing after boat sinks off Greek island of Lesbos.

• Aug. 10, 2013: Six migrants drown, 94 rescued some 15 meters (50 feet) off a crowded swimming beach in Catania.

• Oct. 3, 2013: 366 people die, 155 survive after shipwreck off Lampedusa, Italy.

• February 2014: At least 15 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa die while swimming from Moroccan coast as they try to reach Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Rubber bullets were fired at them where they were in the seas.

• Sept. 10, 2014: Some 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese are feared drowned after their boat was rammed by another boat of human traffickers off Malta.

• January 2014: 12 people, most of them children, drown when boat overturns near Greek island of Farmakonis.

• Sept. 14, 2014: Libyan navy reports 26 rescued from a boat carrying some 250 migrants off Libyan coast, some 200 missing and feared dead.

• February 2015: 300 migrants were feared dead off the coast of Lampedusa after trying to cross the Mediterranean in four rubber boats.

• April 12, 2015: Boat capsizes off Libya, nine confirmed dead. Some of the 144 survivors tell aid workers that about 400 aboard drowned.

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Presumed deaths of 400 migrants among worst incidents

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Survivors of a capsized migrant boat off Libya have told the aid group Save the Children an estimated 400 people are believed to have drowned. The UN refugee agency says the shipwreck is among the deadliest single incidents in the last decade. (Apri AP

The presumed death of 400 North African migrants in the Mediterranean Sea this week marks one of the deadliest crossing attempts in the past decade.

More than 140 people have been rescued and eight bodies recovered so far from a double-deck boat that capsized Monday in the waters about 75 miles south of Italy’s Lampedusa island, the United Nation’s refugee agency said in a statement Wednesday. But survivors told the agency that some 400 others were aboard and are feared lost.

António Guterres of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) called for governments across the region to address the urgent situation.

“I was deeply shocked when hearing the news that another boat, an overcrowded boat capsized in the Mediterranean and where 400 people died. This only demonstrates how important it is to have a robust rescue-at-sea mechanism, in the central Mediterranean,” he said in a statement.

Since last Friday alone, more than 8,500 people from North Africa have been rescued in the Mediterranean from several dozen boats and rubber dinghies, according to the Italian Coast Guard, UNHCR reported. Since the beginning of this year, some 31,500 people are known to have made crossing to Italy and Greece — the two largest countries receiving refugees.

About 500 are believed to have died during the crossings, raising this year’s death toll to 900 if Monday’s figures are confirmed. As sea and weather conditions improve, the number attempting to make the journey has been picking up and is only expected to climb further, UNHCR said.

Last year, some 219,000 refugees and migrants — many fleeing conflicts in Africa, Syria and Iraq — crossed the Mediterranean. At least 3,500 died, UNHCR reported. Exact death tolls are hard to determine because in many cases bodies are not found and the death tolls are based off survivor accounts or reports by family members.

More migrants come through Italy than through any other European country, in part because of its location. Lampedusa, a small Italian island, is closer to Tunisia than to Sicily.

“Rescue at sea of migrants must be a priority for Italy and for Europe, and the European Union should strengthen its capacity for search and rescue missions, as more people risk and lose their lives making these perilous journeys,” Save the Children’s President and CEO Carolyn Miles said in a statement Tuesday. “Children arriving have experienced harrowing journeys and are in desperate need of psychological support. Adequate care and protection should be provided to all children, in particular those who have suffered violence.”

Monday’s capsizing comes after some 300 migrants were feared dead in February off the coast of Lampedusa after trying to cross the Mediterranean in four rubber boats. Survivors coming ashore near Lampedusa reported the four vessels — described as dinghies — attempted to make the journey from Libya to Europe.

Here is a list of some of the deadliest migrant boat disasters, compiled by the Associated Press:

• Christmas, 1996: 300 believed drowned in the waters between Malta and Sicily.

• June 20, 2003: 50 corpses found, 160 migrants missing, 41 survivors in a shipwreck off Tunisia.

• Oct. 20, 2003: At least 70 dead in waters off Sicily.

• May 12, 2008: 50 dead off Sicily, including 47 who died aboard after suffering from exposure.

• May 6, 2011: Boat carrying more than 600 migrants is shipwrecked off Libyan coast. Hundreds reported missing.

• June 2, 2011: At least 270 missing from boat that carried 700 aboard off Tunisian coast.

• July 10, 2012: Motorized rubber dinghy deflates between Libya and tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa, 54 dead.

• December 2012: At least 21 people perish, and six listed as missing after boat sinks off Greek island of Lesbos.

• Aug. 10, 2013: Six migrants drown, 94 rescued some 15 meters (50 feet) off a crowded swimming beach in Catania.

• Oct. 3, 2013: 366 people die, 155 survive after shipwreck off Lampedusa, Italy.

• February 2014: At least 15 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa die while swimming from Moroccan coast as they try to reach Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Rubber bullets were fired at them where they were in the seas.

• Sept. 10, 2014: Some 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese are feared drowned after their boat was rammed by another boat of human traffickers off Malta.

• January 2014: 12 people, most of them children, drown when boat overturns near Greek island of Farmakonis.

• Sept. 14, 2014: Libyan navy reports 26 rescued from a boat carrying some 250 migrants off Libyan coast, some 200 missing and feared dead.

• February 2015: 300 migrants were feared dead off the coast of Lampedusa after trying to cross the Mediterranean in four rubber boats.

• April 12, 2015: Boat capsizes off Libya, nine confirmed dead. Some of the 144 survivors tell aid workers that about 400 aboard drowned.

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1FTWfQY

USA NOW
Raw: Aaron Hernandez found guilty of murder
Apr 15, 2015

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