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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

A military boat transports bodies of victims after a boat carrying migrants that capsized off Egypt's coast in Al-Beheira, Egypt, September 22, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

"Entire families, children and young people entrusted their lives to human smugglers, and risked everything aboard an unseaworthy boat that capsized and sank in the middle of the sea," Amr Taha, head of IOM's Egypt office, said in a statement.

"We urge the parliament to pass (a) new anti-human smuggling law that should be a strong deterrent for smugglers."

The IOM said that 3,213 migrants had died while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to date this year, while an estimated 298,474 migrants had reached European shores.

Some 1.3 million migrants reached Europe last year fleeing war and economic hardship, prompting bitter disputes among European countries over how to share responsibility.

If they survive the journey, migrants this year face much tougher European Union border controls.

Many of those interviewed in the aftermath of the shipwreck off Egypt spoke of their desire to flee in search of a brighter future.