Over 60 missing, at least 11 dead due to shipwrecks off Italy’s shores

Two migrant shipwrecks off the southern shores of Italy have resulted in the loss of at least 11 lives, with over 60 people still missing, including 26 children, Reuters reported yesterday.

The first incident occurred when a sinking wooden boat was spotted by the German aid group RESQSHIP. They rescued 51 people, including two who were unconscious, but also found 10 bodies trapped in the lower deck. The second shipwreck took place about 200 km east of Calabria, when a boat from Turkey caught fire and overturned, leaving 64 people unaccounted for and only 11 rescued.

According to UNHCR and UNICEF, the vessel had set off from Libya, carrying migrants from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The U.N. agencies have called on EU governments to strengthen Mediterranean search and rescue efforts and expand legal migration channels, to prevent more migrants from risking their lives at sea.

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