Ten migrants die in Mediterranean, hundreds rescued

The boat had left Libya and was carrying 130 people at the time.

Ten migrants die in Mediterranean, hundreds rescued

World Bulletin / News Desk

 At least 10 migrants trying to reach Italy died when their rubber boat overturned in the southern Mediterranean, the coast guard said on Wednesday.

The boat, which capsized on Tuesday about 50 miles north of Libya, was carrying about 130 people at the time, the coast guard said in a statement.

A coast guard ship in the area managed to rescue most of the migrants. Ten bodies were recovered.

The coast guard ship was already carrying 318 migrants rescued in a previous mission on Tuesday and was now heading to a Sicilian port.

Seven separate missions in a 24-hour period had rescued a total of 941 migrants, including 30 children and 50 women, one of them pregnant, the coast guard said.

Last month, more than 300 people died trying to cross the sea from Africa to Italy in a one-week period. Most of the boats leave from Libya, which is in a state of near-anarchy and where smugglers charge up to $2,000 for the crossing.

Italy ended its large-scale search-and-rescue mission Mare Nostrum last year because of the cost and amid criticism from some who said it merely encouraged people to make the crossing.

Mare Nostrum was set up after more than 360 migrants drowned when their boat capsized near the Italian coastin October 2013.

It has been replaced by an EU border control mission, Triton, that does not have a specific search-and-rescue mandate and which has fewer ships and a smaller area of operation that hugs close to the Italian coast instead of reaching toward Africa like Mare Nostrum did.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Mart 2015, 11:14