700 migrants feared dead following two shipwrecks in the Mediterranean
Posted by clandestina on 16 September 2014
Seven hundred migrants are feared dead in two separate shipwrecks in the Mediterranean while trying to seek refuge in Europe.
At least 500 migrants may have drowned last week off the coast of Malta. Two survivors told the International Organization for Migration (IOM) that the traffickers deliberately sank the boat after an argument on board.
IOM said the two survivors were rescued on Thursday, the day after their boat sank.
“If this story – which is being investigated by police – is confirmed, it would be the biggest shipwreck of recent years. It would be particularly serious as it would not be an incident, but an episode of mass killing,” the IOM said in a statement.
The last time a similar tragedy occurred was on 3rd October 2013, when at least 368 African migrants died after a boat carrying them from Libya to Europe sank off the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
In a separate incident, a boat carrying 250 migrants sank off the coast of Libya. BBC quoted Libyan Navy spokesman Ayub Qassem to have said that only 36 people had been rescued. The vessel went down near Tajoura, east of Tripoli.
“There are so many dead bodies floating in the sea,” Mr Qassem told reporters.