500 Migrants Feared Drowned after Boat Sinks off Malta

World | September 15, 2014, Monday // 19:09|  views

More than 900 illegal migrants are shipped to the mainland after being rescued by Italian Navy boat `Fregata Euro` in the Mediterranean Sea, 12 September 2014. Photo by EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI.

About 500 migrants are feared dead after their boat was rammed by another vessel near Malta last week.

Two Palestinian survivors told the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that the boat had been intentionally sunk by traffickers after leaving Damietta in Egypt in early September, the BBC reports.

The boat had been carrying Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese, they said. The passengers included women and children.

Asked about the magnitude of the incident as reported, Leonard Doyle, IOM spokesperson in Italy, said “of course this is mass murder”, provided that it is confirmed. “We don’t know what it is, [for the time being] we have allegations,” he said, as quoted by EurActiv.

Thousands of migrants have drowned in recent years as they attempt to reach Europe from North Africa and the Middle East.

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Tags: migrants, dead, International Organization for Migration, traffickers, mass murder


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