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700 may have perished in the Mediterranean last week - UNHCR

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700 may have perished in the Mediterranean last week - UNHCR

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What is happening?

600 migrants have been brought safely ashore in the port of Reggio Calabria.by an Italian naval vessel.

The “Vega” also brought ashore the bodies of 45 migrants who died when their boat capsized on Friday.

“700 dead”

The UNHCR thinks up to 700 migrants may have died last week in sinkings off the coast of Libya.

“The situation is chaotic, we are not sure of the numbers, but we fear that up to 700 people could have drowned in the last week,” UNHCR spokesperson Federico Fossi told reporters.

  • Wednesday

100 people are reported missing after a boat sank.

  • Thursday morning

500 people reported missing after the boat they were packed into sank off the coast of Libya.

The survivors, who have been taken to the Italian ports of Taranto and Pozzallo, say dozens of children are among those lost.

A spokesperson for Save the Children in Sicily says it is impossible to verify the numbers involved.

However, survivors say 1,100 people set sail from Sabratha in Libya on Wednesday aboard a fishing boat and an inflatable launch.

“The first boat, which had around 500 people on board, was towing a second vessel which also carried around 500 people,” said Giovanna Di Benedetto.

“However, the second boat began to capsize, some tried to swim to the other boat, others clung to the cable linking the two.”

  • Friday evening

The Italian navy recovers the bodies of 45 people from the sea.

It is feared the death toll will rise as dozens are feared to be missing.

What they are saying

“We will never know the exact number, we will never know who they are, but the survivors say that more than 500 people are dead,” – Carlotta Sami, UNHCR spokesperson via Twitter.

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