Six Syrian refugees found dead on boat to Sicily

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Six Syrian refugees, including three children, have been found dead on a migrant boat that arrived Monday in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said. Reuters reports.

“They died of thirst, hunger and severe burns. This is unacceptable,” UNHCR representative Chiara Cardoletti in Italy wrote on Twitter. “Strengthening rescue at sea is the only way to prevent these tragedies.”

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The UNHCR said in a statement that the dead were among a group of 26 people who had been on the boat for days. It added that two of the dead children were 1 or 2 years old, while the other child was 12. The bodies of a mother and grandmother were also recovered.

Another woman and her daughter were taken from the boat to a hospital on the nearby island of Malta on Sunday, the UNHCR said.

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The UN agency said more than 1,200 people have died or disappeared this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe.

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