12 dead off Egypt's North Coast after boat drowns

Friday, October 11, 2013 6:58 PM 
A man rows his fishing boat in Lake Burullus, near the town of Kafr el Sheikh, some 210km (130 miles) north of Cairo, October 9, 2006. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic

The Egyptian Navy and border guards recovered the bodies of twelve illegal immigrants who drowned off the coast of Alexandria on Friday morning, said Major General Amin Ezz ElDin, Alexandria's head of security.

The authorities managed to save 116 others who were on the boat, including 40 Syrians, 72 Palestinians and four Egyptians, Ezz ElDin added.

Six illegal immigration attempts were detected over the past two months in Alexandria alone.

Most victims of illegal immigration are Syrians and Palestinians who illegally enter the country then illegally attempt to leave for Europe through Alexandria, said Major General Nasser al-Abd, Alexandria's head of investigation.

"They each pay illegal immigration brokers 3,000 to 5,000 USD in return for transporting them to a European country via unequipped boats," Abd stated.

Around 300 people were killed last week when a fire broke out in a Libyan boat less than one kilometer away from the shore of Lampedusa Island in Italy.

More than 40 were killed in August 2012 when a boat carrying Egyptian illegal immigrants capsized off the coast of the Egyptian-Libyan borders.

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