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Monday, 8 May 2017

Serious Tragedy as Nearly 200 People Trying to Cross to Europe Drown in Mediterranean Sea

A sad incident has claimed the lives of about 200 migrants trying to cross to Europe for a better life after they suffered a shipwreck.
Almost 200 people are feared to have died in two Mediterranean Sea migrant shipwrecks during the weekend, according to reports on Monday.

The worldwide enterprise for migration (iom) in libya said that seven people have been rescued off the north-western city of zawiya, and one of them stated 113 others have been lacking.

The information was posted on twitter and confirmed through an iom spokesman in rome, flavio di giacomo.

Separately, 80 people died on Saturday after the rubber dinghy they were travelling on overturned, according to the ANSA news agency, which sourced its report from survivors’ accounts to Italian prosecutors.

The sea channel between Italy and Libya is the world’s busiest and most dangerous sea migration route.

More than 6,600 people were rescued there between Friday and Sunday.

On Sunday, the Head of the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, said more than 1,150 people died or went missing since the start of the year in sea crossings to Europe.

Grandi added that the mortality rate on the Libya-Italy route was one in 35.

He praised efforts by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), noting that they had carried out one third of rescue operations since January 1, and renewed calls for EU authorities to open legal migration channels to spare people from dangerous sea journeys.

NGOs involvement in sea rescues has become controversial since an Italian prosecutor accused them of acting in cahoots with Libyan people smugglers.

The prosecutor says he has suspicions but no proof; the NGOs have rejected all charges.

-dpa/NAN

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