Six Syrian refugees, including two infants as well as a child, have been discovered dead on a migrant boat that had arrived in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has said.
As per the UNHCR’s representative to Italy, Chiara Cardoletti, mentioned on Twitter, “They died of thirst, hunger and severe burns. This is unacceptable. Strengthening rescue at sea is the only option to prevent these tragedies.”
According to the statement released by UNHCR, “The dead were among a group of 26 individuals who had been on the vessel for days. It stated that two of the dead children were aged one or two, while the other child was 12.
The bodies of a mother and a grandmother were also recovered. Another woman & her daughter were airlifted from the boat to a hospital on the nearby island of Malta on Sunday, the UNHCR said.
The UN agency said more than 1,200 people have died or vanished this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe.
Moreover, six more bodies were recovered off the Tunisian coast, the interior ministry added on Monday, raising the toll of the dead to 12 after a boat carrying migrants capsized last week.
Overall, 37 Tunisians had boarded the vessel nearby from the coastal city of Sfax in a clandestine bid to reach the Italian coast, as per the security source.
The makeshift vessel capsized on Tuesday night last week off Mahdia, a coastal town in eastern Tunisia.
The latest recovery, on Sunday, comes after six more bodies were retrieved on Thursday – although authorities had initially reported the number at eight.