Six migrants reported dead at sea in central Mediterranean


MILAN (TBEN) – Migrants picked up at sea by a merchant ship and taken to Italy by the coast guard have reported that six people died of thirst during the journey, the UN refugee agency said Monday.

The Italian coastguard said it transported 26 migrants to the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, including 28 people, mostly Syrians and Afghans, who were rescued in recent days from a small boat in distress off the coast of Libya by a Liberian-flagged trade vessel. speed. A dehydrated child and his mother were transported by helicopter from ship to the Maltese capital Valletta.

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The migrants who arrived in Italy told officials of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees that six people, including a small child and a 12-year-old, had died aboard the ship from dehydration and their bodies had been left in the sea. . The victims were all Syrians.

So far this year, more than 1,200 people have been killed or missing at sea in the perilous crossing of the central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe. The UN refugee agency said the route the small boat had traveled and how many days it was at sea was not clear.

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