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    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    700 migrants feared dead in 3 days in Mediterranean shipwrecks



    The UN refugee agency says over 700 migrants may have drowned in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried to reach Europe.

    Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told The Associated Press by phone Sunday that about 100 people are missing from a smugglers' boat that capsized Wednesday.

    She said about 550 others are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning. She says refugees say that boat, carrying about 670 people, didn't have an engine and was being towed by another smuggling boat before it capsized. About 25 people from it survived, 79 others were rescued by patrol boats and 15 dead bodies were recovered.

    Sami says 45 more bodies were recovered from a shipwreck Friday and many more are reported missing.

    700 migrants feared dead in 3 days in Mediterranean shipwrecks[at] - LA Times

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    Surge of migrant sailings has Italy scrambling to house thousands of new arrivals

    A surge of migrant sailings from Libya and Egypt has sent government and aid officials in Italy scrambling to find beds for thousands of new arrivals.

    More than 13,000 people have made the perilous crossing since Monday -- and hundreds have drowned in the attempt, the officials said.

    Reception centers in Sicily, which received the bulk of the arrivals, are full. Even temporary shelters set up in disused sports halls and schools are overflowing, with some migrants relegated to a tent at their port of arrival, the international aid group Save the Children said.

    Italian navy and coast guard vessels, as well as ships taking part in two different European Union rescue operations, have been scouring the Mediterranean Sea just beyond Libyan waters for the migrants.

    About 900 of them were brought to the Sicilian port of Catania on Saturday after being plucked from overloaded dinghies and fishing boats in recent days. Some 700 others were sent to Pozzalo, also in Sicily, and 700 to Taranto, on the Italian mainland.

    In Palermo, where 1,052 migrants arrived mid-week, police officials held hurried meetings and searched for interpreters after learning that 600 more would be showing up Sunday.

    “To have two landings like this in a week is unheard of,” said a senior police official, who was not authorized to speak publicly to the media.

    more Surge of migrant sailings has Italy scrambling to house thousands of new arrivals - LA Times

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