|Published : 22 Sep 2016, 10:53:37 | Updated : 22 Sep 2016, 12:02:39|
42 migrants die as boat capsizes off Egypt's Alexandria
At least 42 African migrants were killed as a boat carrying them headed to Europe capsized off the Mediterranean coast near the Egyptian city of Alexandria on Wednesday.
The army gave the toll in a statement, saying it had "thwarted an illegal immigration attempt" and that the boat had been 12 nautical miles off the coast when it sank.
In the city of Rosetta, Egyptian families gathered near the harbour urging authorities to do more in their search and rescue effort for their loved ones who were among the lost.
Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said that the total number of dead was still unknown.
Local official Alaa Osman from Beheira province said the migrants were from several African countries.
He said over 150 people have been rescued so far but that bodies are still being pulled from the water.
Egypt's official news agency MENA said the boat was carrying 600 people when it sank near the coast, some 180 kilometers (112 miles) north of the capital, Cairo.
Thousands of illegal migrants have made the dangerous sea voyage across the Mediterranean in recent years fleeing war and poverty, mostly via lawless Libya. Thousands have drowned.
The migrant crisis has proven deeply divisive in Europe, which has struggled to come up with a unified response, according to a news agency report.