Death toll of migrant boat capsize reaches 168

Sunday 25-09-2016 08:38 PM

People gathering near the coast where the boat capsized on Sept. 21, 2016 - Reuters

CAIRO, Sept 25(Aswat Masriya) - Egypt’s health ministry said on Sunday that the number of bodies recovered in the aftermath of a migrant boat capsize reached 168.

The boat which was carrying hundreds, estimated between 450 and 600 migrants, capsized on Wednesday in the Mediterranean Sea off Burg Rashid, a village in the northern Beheira province. 

Search is underway for bodies still missing at sea.

The migrants, including Egyptians, Syrians and Africans, were believed to have been heading to Italy, a main destination for illegal migrants across the Mediterranean. 

Some 163 migrants were rescued, the spokesman of the province of Beheira told state TV on Friday.

A total of 298,474 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 until September 18, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said earlier this month.

The IOM added that they mostly arrived in Greece and Italy.

Conflicts and dire economic conditions in the Middle East and African countries pushed millions of migrants and refugees to cross over to Europe to flee poverty and war.

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