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Heart of Palermo

Dozens of emigrants drown off Libya

From The Guardian this afternoon:

Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Dozens of bodies have been recovered from the Mediterranean, a day after the shipwreck that caused the deaths of up to 150 migrants.

Eyewitnesses described harrowing scenes in the sea, in what a senior UN official called the "the worst Mediterranean tragedy" so far this year.

Fishermen told AFP they saw bodies as they waded through the wreckage searching for survivors: "There were bodies floating on the surface of the water where the boat went down."

One survivor, Abdallah Osman, said the boat making the perilous journey from Libya started to fill with water about 90 minutes after setting out to sea on Wednesday night. Then its engine broke down.

Over the following six hours, men, women and children began to drown.

"Shortly after dawn, fishermen came out with their small boats and started taking us to shore, five at a time ... That went on until nine in the morning," he told AFP.


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