Migrant boat sinking in Mediterranean leaves two dead, 20 missing

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A migrant boat carrying around 40 people sank in the Mediterranean between Tunisia and Italy, leaving at least two dead and around 20 others missing.

German aid group ResQship reported that their vessel, the Nadir, rescued 22 people and took them to the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Among those saved were men, women, and children from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, and Mali, and a pregnant woman was among those rescued. The boat’s crew also recovered the bodies of two men. The migrants are believed to have paid around $980 each to board the vessel.

According to ResQship, the migrants had already been in the water for about two hours by the time they arrived at the scene of the wreck. The group expressed frustration with the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the increasing number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean.

In recent days, thousands of migrants have landed on Lampedusa, which is only about 150 km (90 miles) from the Tunisian coast. This incident is the latest in a series of disasters in the Mediterranean Sea, where dozens of migrants attempting the crossing have drowned, and many more have had to be rescued from flimsy vessels.

Italy has been struggling with the high number of migrants arriving on its shores. According to the interior ministry, more than 14,000 migrants have arrived in Italy since the beginning of this year – significantly more than the 5,300 who arrived over the same period in 2022 and the 4,300 who arrived in 2021.