A migrant boat capsized between Sicily and Tunisia on Friday and hundreds of people were in the sea, the Italian navy said, and the national news agency ANSA said corpses had been spotted.
The incident occurred just over a week after at least 319 people drowned when a boat carrying Eritrean
and Somali migrants sank near the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.
Italy's coast guard said about 50 bodies were found so far. Many of the migrants aboard have survived and helicopters are taking the injured to the Sicilian island. Coast guard spokesman Marco Di Milla said "a good number" of the estimated 200 people have been rescued.
Survivors of last capsizing event near Lampedusa (Photo: AP)
He says the coast guard received a satellite phone call from the boat and was able to locate it based on the satellite coordinates.
Last week's disaster was one of the worst in a long migrant crisis that has seen tens of thousands of people arriving in small, unsafe boats in southern Italy. Lampedusa, a tiny island located midway between Sicily and Tunisia,
has borne the brunt.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 32,000 have arrived in southern Italy and Malta this year alone, around two thirds of whom have filed requests for asylum.
Although most migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa, this year many are fleeing the Syrian civil war or political turmoil in Egypt
and other parts of North Africa. Many are drawn by hopes of finding work in Europe and often do not stay in Italy.
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