Aid agency says an­other 41 mi­grants feared dead in sea tragedy in Europe

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE -

An­other 41 mi­grants are feared drowned in a new Mediter­ranean ship­wreck, the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­grants re­ported Thurs­day, cit­ing sur­vivor ac­counts.

Four mi­grants who were picked up in re­cent days by the Ital­ian Navy re­ported the tragedy to aid work­ers af­ter ar­riv­ing in the Ital­ian port of Tra­pani Thurs­day, said IOM, which is based in Geneva. They were among 580 mi­grants brought to the port on Thurs­day.

The new tragedy comes just days af­ter aid agen­cies re­ported 400 pre­sumed dead in the sink­ing of an­other ship near the Libyan coast on Mon­day. The deaths have raised calls for a more ro­bust search and res­cue of the seas be­tween Libya and Europe amid an un­prece­dented wave of migration be­tween the Mid­dle East and Africa to­ward Italy.

The agency said the mi­grants — two Nige­ri­ans, a Ghana­ian and one Nige­rien — were found float­ing in the sea by a he­li­copter and were res­cued by the Ital­ian Naval ship Fos­cari. They had left Tripoli in Libya on Satur­day and stayed adrift for four days. The lo­ca­tion of the res­cue was not im­me­di­ately known.

Ital­ian po­lice said they had ar­rested 15 African Mus­lim mi­grants af­ter wit­nesses said they had thrown 12 Chris­tian pas­sen­gers over­board fol­low­ing a brawl on a boat head­ing to Italy.

The vic­tims were “of Chris­tian faith, com­pared to their at­tack­ers who were of Mus­lim faith,” po­lice said in a state­ment, say­ing the 15 peo­ple ar­rested were ac­cused of “mul­ti­ple ag­gra­vated mur­der mo­ti­vated by re­li­gious hate”.

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