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The bodies of six migrants apparently killed after a boat ran aground just 15 metres off the coast of Italy have been recovered on a beach in Sicily.

The vessel was reported to have been carrying 120 passengers including women and children. They are believed to be have been thrown into the sea. Officials in the port of Catania said dozens had been rescued. It has been reported that some of those who had drowned could not swim.

There has been no confirmation of the nationality of the migrants.

According to the United Nations almost 500 people were reported dead or missing at sea trying to reach Europe in 2012.

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