UN Calls on Europe to Act on Migrant Flood

“U.N’ Urges Europe to Act on Flood of Migrants,” by Nick-Cumming Bruce for the New York Times:

Record numbers of people from the Middle East and Africa are putting their lives in the hands of smugglers to get across the Mediterranean to Europe and record numbers are dying in the effort, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday in calling for urgent and concerted action by European governments.

More than 300 asylum seekers and migrants died over the weekend when three boats capsized or sank, Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the refugee agency, told reporters in Geneva. In the worst incident, only 19 survivors were rescued from a boat carrying at least 270 people that overturned on Friday off the Libyan coast just east of Tripoli.

“There were bodies floating everywhere,” she said, citing Libyan Coast Guard members who said they had found five young children and seven women among the victims. Survivors said that the human traffickers running the operation had been pushing more and more people onto the packed vessel minutes before it departed, Ms. Fleming said…


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