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Malta boat sinking 'leaves 500 dead' - IOM

An Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) patrol boat carrying rescued migrants approaches the AFM"s Maritime Squadron base at Haywharf in Valletta"s Marsamxett Harbour, August 28
About 500 migrants are feared dead after their ship was rammed by another boat near Malta last week, a migration body said.


Two Palestinian survivors told the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) that the boat had been intentionally sunk by traffickers.

They said the boat had left Damietta in Egypt in early September.

The IOM says that more than 2,500 people are now believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean this year.

News of the sinking near Malta emerged as another vessel carrying 250 people sank off the coast of Libya.

Over 200 people are feared to have drowned in that incident.

'Violent confrontation'

IOM spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said that the two survivors from the Malta sinking were rescued on Thursday, the day after their boat sank.

They said traffickers rammed the boat after a "violent confrontation" on board. The IOM said there were nine known survivors in total.

The boat had been carrying Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese, the survivors said.
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