500 feared dead after boat rammed

2014-09-15 18:53
Motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approach a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. (Italian Navy, AP, ho)

Motor boats from the Italian frigate Grecale approach a boat overcrowded with migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. (Italian Navy, AP, ho)

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Geneva - The International Organisation for Migration says about 500 migrants are feared to have died after their boat was rammed and sank off the Malta coast last week.

IOM spokesperson Christiane Berthiaume said on Monday that witnesses told the organisation that the boat left Damietta, Egypt in early September with Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese aboard. It sank on Wednesday, reportedly after a group of human traffickers rammed it with another boat.

Berthiaume told The Associated Press that two Palestinian survivors said there had been a violent confrontation between the migrants and the traffickers, who wanted to move everyone to one of their smaller vessels.

She says the traffickers "used one boat to knock the other" and that there were about nine known survivors in all.

Read more on:    malta  |  migrants

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