Published On: Wed, Sep 21st, 2016

Dozens drown after boat capsizes off Egypt’s coast

At least 29 people have died and 150 rescued after a boat carrying hundreds of refugees capsized off Egypt’s coast.

State news agency MENA reported on Wednesday that the boat capsized off the coast of Kafr al-Sheikh, about 140km north of Cairo, and that search teams were looking for more survivors.

The boat was carrying Egyptian, Syrian, and African migrants, security sources told Reuters news agency. Rescue workers saved 150 people, MENA said.

It was not immediately clear where the boat was headed, though some security sources said they believed it was going to Italy.

More and more people have been trying to cross to Italy from the North African coastline in recent months as the weather improves, particularly from Libya, where people-traffickers operate with relative impunity, but also from Egypt.

Some 206,400 refugees have crossed the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

More than 2,800 deaths have been recorded between January and June this year, against 1,838 during the period last year.

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