Friday 30 September 2016

Bodies of migrants brought ashore

Published 20/04/2015 | 08:51

An Italian coast Guard vessel during ongoing search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea south of the Italian island of Lampedusa (AP/Guardia Costiera)
An Italian coast Guard vessel during ongoing search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea south of the Italian island of Lampedusa (AP/Guardia Costiera)

The bodies of 24 victims of what is believed to be the Mediterranean's worst migrant tragedy have been been brought ashore to Malta.

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Italian coast guard ship Gregoretti dropped off the bodies early today before continuing on to Sicily with 28 survivors of the fishing boat that capsized near the Libyan coast.

It is believed that more than 900 migrants were on the smugglers' boat - many locked in the hold. The dead will be buried in Malta.

One survivor who has already been brought to the Sicilian city of Catania has told prosecutors that there were 950 people on board the ship when it sank.

The International Organisation for Migration said that the survivor is a 32-year-old Bangladeshi. It said the information he provided to prosecutors still needs to be confirmed.

The European Union president is calling on the EU's executive arm to urgently propose new measures to beef up Europe's border agency to respond to the migrant emergency in the Mediterranean.

Latvian Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis said the presidency "is committed to facilitate swift adoption of short-term emergency measures once they are proposed".

Rescuers are still combing the waters of the Mediterranean where the migrants are thought to have drowned.

EU foreign and interior ministers are to hold emergency talks in Luxembourg on the crisis later today.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the ministers would discuss whether the 28 EU leaders should hold an emergency summit this week.

Press Association

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