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Death toll rises to 52 after migrant boat capsizes off Egypt

2016-09-23 10:01

By (Agencies)

Death toll rises to 52 after migrant boat capsizes off Egypt

People gather along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea during a search for victims after a migrant boat capsized, in Al-Beheira, Egypt, September 22, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail pledged the government's full support for the rescue mission and said those responsible for the incident must be brought to justice.

The boat was carrying Egyptian, Sudanese, Eritrean and Somali migrants, officials said. It was not immediately clear where the vessel was heading, though officials said they believed it was going to Italy.

More and more people have been trying to cross to Italy from the African coast over the summer months, particularly from Libya, where people-traffickers operate with relative impunity,

But Egypt has come under closer scrutiny this year because a growing number of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are using it as an alternative route.

The International Organization for Migration urged Egypt to impose tougher penalties on human traffickers and address the concerns driving people to undertake the perilous journey.