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Migrants Boat Tragedy: Casualties Rise to 87
By Staff, Agencies
The number of casualties from the migrants’ boat tragedy has risen to 87, according to latest reports.
The boat carrying migrants and refugees from Lebanon capsized off Syria’s coast, according to the Syrian and Lebanese governments.
On Friday, the Lebanese transport minister said that 87 people had died in Thursday’s disaster.
The Syrian government had previously said that 20 survivors were being treated in Basel hospital in Tartus.
Samer Qubrusli, the Syrian director general of ports, said search operations were ongoing on Friday. He had previously said that rough seas and strong winds had made the rescue operation difficult.
The incident is one of the deadliest since a surging number of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians have tried to flee crisis-hit Lebanon by sea to Europe.
The Syrian transport ministry cited survivors as saying that the boat left from Lebanon's northern Minyeh region on Tuesday with between 120 and 150 people onboard.
Lebanon has seen a spike in migration driven by one of the world's deepest economic crises since the 1850s.
Some of those who died on the boat were from Akkar, an impoverished region in the far north of Lebanon.
In addition to Lebanese, many of those leaving aboard migrant boats are themselves already refugees from Syria and Palestine.
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