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At least 10 dead as immigrant ship sinks off Sicily

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At least 10 dead as immigrant ship sinks off Sicily


At least 10 people are dead and up to 40 others are reported missing after a boat full of suspected illegal immigrants sank off Sicily.

Just ten metres-long and made out of wood, it went down about 16 kilometres from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Survivors said the boat capsized when those on board rushed to one side after a Navy vessel was spotted following them.

The presence of the Navy meant that 70 people were able to be rescued.

The loss of life prompted the Italian Interior Minister to call for more international cooperation to fight human trafficking.

He said it was a “tragedy” but also a “crime” that illegal immigrants paid unscrupulous traffickers thousands of euros to make the dangerous crossing to Italy, Spain, Malta or Greece.

The European Commission has proposed creating a permanent rapid reaction force to deal with the problem.

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