Hundreds of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean this week

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UN refugee agency estimates 300 people may have died trying to reach Italy from Libya in bad weather
imigrant libya
An estimated 300 people are feared to have died this week after attempting to reach Italy from Libya  in stormy weather, the UN refugee agency has said after speaking to a handful of survivors.
On Monday an Italian tugboat rescued nine people who had been on two different boats and brought them to the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday morning.
They are the only known survivors from the boats, leaving more than 200 unaccounted for, they told representatives of the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR).
The survivors said there had been a third dinghy that had also left Libya on Saturday and was missing, Barbara Molinario, a spokeswoman for the UNHCR, told Reuters.
The Italian coastguard picked up 105 people on Sunday in extremely dangerous sea conditions near Libya and with the temperature hovering just a few degrees above zero.
Twenty-nine from that dinghy died of hypothermia in the 18 hours it took the coastguard to ferry them to Italy.
The recent deaths at sea have reignited criticism of Italy’s decision last year to end a full-scale search-and-rescue mission, known as Mare Nostrum, due to concerns over costs.
Source: The Guardian

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