Saturday, June 4, 2011

850 shipwrecked people fleeing Libya

About 150 people fleeing the fighting in Libya, including women and children, were drowned as the boat they were traveling in sank off the coast of Tunisia. The tragedy occurred on Wednesday night was one of the worst in the Mediterranean so far this year, said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UNHCR, based in Geneva, said that survived at least 578 of the 850 people aboard, mostly immigrants from West Africa, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The boat, guided by people with little or no maritime experience, he sailed for eight days from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and headed for Lampedusa, Italy.

The boat ran aground Wednesday on a sandbar near Kerkennah islands, some 300 kilometers northwest of Tripoli, and overturned when desperate passengers fled to the side, looking to be rescued by the Tunisian coast guard and fishing boats that had come.

No comments:

Post a Comment