30 Migrants Suffocate to Death on Mediterranean BoatWorld | June 30, 2014, Monday // 12:42| views
An image made available on 30 April 2014 shows migrants being rescued during operation `Mare Nostrum` in southern Mediterranean sea off the Italian coast, 29 April 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Around 30 migrants have been found dead on a boat in the Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily and the North African coast.
The fishing boat had been overcrowded, with some 600 people on board. The cause of the deaths is most likely asphyxiation from being crammed into a compartment below the decks, the BBC revealed.
The rest of the migrants on the boat have been rescued by the Italian navy, taking their count to 1,600 for the weekend alone. Officials say that these high figures are due to the ongoing political instability in Libya.
Italy faces constant challenges to receive thousands of migrants entering illegally on boats. Over 300 people died when a boat capsized off the coast of Lampedusa last October, raising alarm throughout the European Union. Rome called for increased support and a common EU immigration policy.
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