Boat carrying migrants runs aground in Sicily

Italian authorities say at least 13 boat migrants have drowned while trying to reach Sicily on a trawler packed with some 200 people, reportedly from Eritrea. The coastguard is looking for more victims. At least 13

Italian authorities say at least 13 boat migrants have drowned while trying to reach Sicily on a trawler packed with some 200 people, reportedly from Eritrea. The coastguard is looking for more victims.

At least 13 migrants drowned off Sicily on Monday while trying to swim ashore after their boat ran aground. The Italian news agency ANSA reported that two suspected crew members had been arrested.

Franco Susino, the mayor of the town of Scicli near the point of landfall, told the television channel SkyTG24 that he believed some of the migrants had been thrown overboard by crew members.

“These people are treated like animals,” Susino said.

Italian coast guard official Marco Di Milla quoted witnesses as saying that many of the migrants swam ashore and ran away.

Rescue boats and divers were continuing a search for others who had not made it to shore. All the 13 dead recovered were males, he added.

ANSA said a swimmer had warned the coastguard after seeing the small abandoned boat in poor condition near the shore.

Via northern Africa

Earlier this month, the UN refugee agency announced that more than 20,000 migrants had reached southern Italy since January, three times more than the total number last year. Most had come from Eritrea, Somalia and war-torn Syria.

Sicily and its islands are frequent destinations for smugglers and their boats which depart from Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Calmer weather conditions and unrest in the Arab world have led to the surge in migrant arrivals in recent weeks.

Last Wednesday, three boats arrived – two on the Italian island of Lampedusa and a third at the Sicilian port of Syracuse – carrying more than 700 migrants.

In August, six young Egyptians drowned while trying to come ashore at Catania in another part of Sicily.

ipj/mkg (AFP, Reuters, AP, dpa)

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16 COMMENTS
  • Semere October 1, 2013

    Extremely sad… when will this tragedy end? One man is destroying the whole nation for half a century. May God bring a solution to our bleeding country.

  • dan October 1, 2013

    the plot of Isaias is to dismantle the country already he done every thing he wished am sure Wed merging is happy about this sad news please Helen nigber deki hager.

  • Semere October 2, 2013

    Yes Dan,
    You are perfectly right. Sadists like Isayas and his cohorts harvest a lot of gratification from the suffering of others. For them it is recorded as victory. They fail to grasp that one day it will hit back hard on them like the boomerang. What angered me most is that it is the crew who dumped the victims to the sea. What a barbaric act. When the “sacredness” of the human person is compromised any brutality can happen.

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