Seventeen missing after dinghy with migrants capsizes off Libya

Rome - A dinghy with about 20 migrants on board has capsized off the Libyan coast.

Three people were rescued, the Italian Navy said, but 17 others were still missing.

The boat found itself in distress 50 nautical miles (92.6 kilometres) north-east of Tripoli on Friday.

The three survivors were seriously injured and were taken for treatment on the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Since Italy has largely closed its ports to migrants, fewer and fewer of them are arriving from Libya. However, people are still dying on the dangerous crossing.
Since the beginning of the year, 83 people have been killed in the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In the same period last year, there were 199 deaths.
"As long as Europe's ports remain open, as long as someone helps the smugglers, unfortunately the smugglers continue to do business and continue killing," Italy's right-wing Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said.
Since Italy's new populist government decided in June to close its ports to migrant rescue charities, EU governments have clashed on how to handle incoming asylum seekers from North Africa.
Rome's hardline stance left two German charity rescue boats with dozens of migrants stranded for weeks in the Mediterranean until eight EU nations agreed to take them in.


Saturday, January 19th 2019

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