ROME The Italian coastguard and navy recovered the bodies of 11 Somali nationals about 35 miles (56 km) from the Libyan coast on Saturday and Sunday after the motorised raft they were using to try to get to Italy sank, the coastguard said.
Two coastguard boats and a navy ship pulled 70 other Somalis from the water, according to a statement sent on Sunday. The survivors and the dead were being taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
The coastguard, an Italian tug boat, and a navy helicopter are continuing to search for survivors.
Thousands of people have been killed attempting the dangerous crossing from North Africa to Europe in overcrowded and frequently unsafe vessels. In the past few years, Italy has become the main destination for maritime migration to southern Europe, which is usually from Libya.
(reporting by Steve Scherer; editing by Andrew Osborn)
Trending On Reuters
A 27-year-old Syrian man denied asylum in Germany a year ago died on Sunday when he set off a bomb outside a crowded music festival in Bavaria, an official said, in the fourth violent attack in the country in less than a week. Full Article | Video
- Munich gunman planned attacks for a year - Bavarian officials
- Syrian refugee in Germany arrested after killing woman in machete attack
- Democrats in disarray on eve of convention to nominate Clinton
- Civilian casualties increase as Afghan troops battle Taliban - U.N.
- ASEAN breaks deadlock on South China Sea, Beijing thanks Cambodia for support