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31 missing after 2 migrant boats sink off Italy

August 7, 2023 at 8:49 am

A migrant gets off the Sea-eye4 ship of the German NGO Sea-eye in the port of Naples, Southern Italy on February, 6 2023. [Stringer – Anadolu Agency]

More than 30 people are missing after two boats carrying migrants sank off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend.

According to the UN migration agency, IOM, survivors who were on one of the boats spoke about 28 people who were on a boat with them and are now missing. Three other migrants were reported missing from the second boat.

IOM spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo told AFP that his organisation believes there are at least 30 missing based on testimonies from survivors.

An investigation into the tragedy has been opened in the city of Agrigento on the island of Sicily.

Agrigento police chief Emanuele Rechevari said the smugglers no doubt knew the waves would be rough as a storm was expected.

He added, in statements to local media, that large waves are expected in the coming days, adding that slowing migrant boats to set sail in such weather is equivalent to “sending them to their death.”

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