Time: 10:40 p.m. CEST
The United Nation’s refugee agency said that up to 700 migrants lost the lives in a series of shipwrecks off the coast of Libya in the past days. The boats sank south of Italy on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday while travels to reach Europe in boats. Perilous crossing from Africa to Europe is now a key migration route since a deal inside the EU lowered number of people using Greece as country for entrance.
As BBC News publishes, Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for UNHCR, offered details on the tragedies:
- Almost 100 migrants are missing from a smugglers’ boat which capsized on Wednesday. Horrifying pictures of the incident and its aftermath were filmed by rescuers.
- About 550 other migrants are missing from a boat which overturned on Thursday morning after leaving the Libyan port of Sabratha on Wednesday. Survivors said the boat had no engine and was being towed by a second smuggling vessel.
- In a third shipwreck on Friday, 135 people were rescued, 45 bodies pulled from the water and an unspecified number of others are missing.
The Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says that the death toll from the last week could be high as 900. Those who survived shipwrecks are in Italian ports of Taranto and Pozzallo.