Police arrest suspect in latest migrant tragedy in Italy

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By Joanna Gill  with AP, Reuters
Police arrest suspect in latest migrant tragedy in Italy

Italian police have arrested one of two men suspected of involvement in the latest migrant tragedy in the Mediterranean which killed 10 people.

The suspect, a 20-year-old Senegalese national, admitted to being hired in Libya to sail a dinghy carrying hundreds of migrants, according to a police report.

He has been transfered to prison where he is being held for illegal immigration.

At least ten people died when their rubber boat overturned in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, and forty more remain unnaccounted for. The coastguard rescued another 1,000 migrants on several other vessels.

Italy has found itself on the frontline of a dangerous maritime route – where migrants often fleeing conflicts are paying up to 2,000 euros to people smugglers in the hope of making it to Europe.

Human rights groups estimate that more than 3,000 people have lost their lives making the perilous journey in the last year, with more than 200,000 making it to European shores.

The increase in numbers has been attributed in part to the continuing conflict in Syria and Iraq, with the rise of Islamist militant group Islamic State and their recent incursions in Libya.