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Sicily migrant boat toll rises to 34, another boat in trouble - navy
October 12, 2013 / 1:08 AM / 4 years ago

Sicily migrant boat toll rises to 34, another boat in trouble - navy

Police officers wrap a blanket around a rescued migrant child at the Armed Forces of Malta Maritime Squadron base at Haywharf in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour October 12, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit

ROME (Reuters) - Italian and Maltese naval vessels have recovered 34 bodies and rescued 206 people from a migrant boat which capsized on Friday while a rescue ship was dispatched to help another boat in distress, the Italian navy said on Saturday.

Friday’s disaster came just over a week after at least 339 people drowned when a boat sank less than a kilometre from the tiny island between Sicily and Tunisia which has become the focal point of a growing migrant crisis in southern Europe.

A Maltese military aircraft spotted the vessel in distress about 60 nautical miles south of Lampedusa and 206 people have been rescued. Italian media said that the boat capsized when panicked people aboard waved for help.

Reporting by James Mackenzie; Editing by Louise Ireland

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