Dozens drown after boat sinks off Egypt's coast

Sep 22, 2016, 3:31 AM EDT
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean
(Source: National Museum of the U.S. Navy/flickr)

At least 43 people were killed after a boat carrying about 600 refugees capsized off the coast of Egypt on Wednesday. Authorities said that the boat, which was ferrying Egyptian, Sudanese, Eritrean, and Somali migrants to Europe, sank as it was overcrowded. More than 150 people were rescued but about 400 migrants remain missing. Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail assured that the government will provide all possible assistance for the rescue operation, adding that the guilty will not go unpunished.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 200,000 migrants and refugees braved perilous journey across the Mediterranean and reached Europe this year, reports Reuters.

More than 2,800 migrant deaths have been reported in the first six months of this year, writes Al Jazeera. Most of the journeys start from the African coast, particularly from Libya, where a security-vacuum has allowed people-smugglers to thrive but some of the migrant boats also set sail from Egypt.

The latest incident comes just a day after the world leaders, gathered at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, signed a declaration, committing to scale up financial aid to address a deepening migrant crisis across the world.