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Six Syrian refugees found dead on boat reaching Sicily

September 12, 2022 at 5:12 pm

Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gokceada rescue 17 irregular migrants offshore Misrata, Libya on May 06, 2022. 17 irregular migrants were stranded on a boat for 10 days offshore Misrata, later rescued by Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gokceada [National Defense Ministry – Anadolu Agency]

Six Syrian refugees, including three children, were found dead on a migrant boat that arrived on 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,” the UNHCR’s representative to Italy, Chiara Cardoletti, wrote on Twitter. “Strengthening rescue at sea is the only way to prevent these tragedies.”

The UNHCR said in a statement 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 aged 1 or 2, while the other child was 12. The bodies of a mother and grandmother were also recovered.

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

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

READ: Syrian, Ukrainian refugees should receive same treatment, says UN’s Syria commission chair