Bloomberg News

Libya Migrant Boat’s Breakdown Leaves Two Dead, 270 Missing

June 02, 2011

(Updates with casualties starting in first paragraph.)

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- At least two people died, with many more feared dead among about 270 people who went missing after a fishing boat carrying migrants to Italy from Libya broke down off Tunisia, Agence Tunis Afrique Presse said.

About 570 people were rescued, the state-run news agency said. The passengers are migrants from Africa and Asia who planned to enter Italy illegally, the Tunisian agency said. Seven people were injured, it said.

Many are likely to have drowned after falling into the sea as they surged toward a rescue boat during bad weather, the agency said. Some of those rescued were taken to a refugee camp, it said.

Refugees have fled Libya amid more than three months of fighting between troops loyal to Muammar Qaddafi and opponents of his four-decade rule. The conflict has prompted an air campaign by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization against pro- government forces and left thousands dead. The unrest in Libya erupted after revolts unseated the leaders of Egypt and Tunisia.

At least 16 people were confirmed dead among as many as 600 migrants heading to Italy who went missing when their ship sank soon after leaving the Libyan capital, Tripoli, last month, according to the United Nations.

--Editors: Heather Langan, Andrew Atkinson

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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