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Death toll of Egypt's capsized migrant boat rises to 112: Health Ministry

Updated: 2016-09-23 21:11

CAIRO -- The death toll of the capsized migrant boat near Egypt's northern coast rose to 112, Egypt's Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told Xinhua on Friday.

"The number of the death toll might rise because the rescue efforts are still going on," Megahed said.

The migrant boat that drowned on Wednesday near the coast of Egypt's northern Beheira province carried about 600 people onboard whose destination was supposed to be Italian shores.

Egyptian authorities have arrested four members of the capsized boat crew over human trafficking charges.

Smugglers often overload the boats with passengers who have paid for the journey.

The EU's border agency Frontex warned that a growing number of migrants bound for Europe is turning to Egypt as a departure point for the sea voyage.

Illegal migration via Egyptian Mediterranean Sea shores rose over the past few years in attempts to flee difficult economic conditions in the most populous Arab country.

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