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10 dead as boat with migrants sinks off Italy

10 dead as boat with migrants sinks off Italy

Rome: Ten illegal migrants have drowned at sea while attempting to reach Italy's southern coast across the Mediterranean, the Italian coast guard said on Wednesday.

The coast guard on Tuesday rescued 941 migrants aboard five motorised dinghies and two larger vessels south of Sicily island but one of the boats capsized and 10 people drowned.

Over less than 24 hours, the Italian coast guard coordinated seven rescue operations in an area some around 80 km north of Libya, Xinhua news agency reported.

The rescued migrants said they were Syrian, Palestinian, Tunisian, Libyan and Sub-Saharan nationals. Among them were more than 30 children and 50 women. A pregnant woman was rushed to a hospital.

Over 218,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean by irregular routes last year and about 3,500 others died in the process, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees.

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