At least 9 dead, 15 missing after migrant boat sinks near Italy

At least nine people died and 15 remain missing on Thursday after a boat carrying migrants capsized in waters off southern Italy on Wednesday.

style="MARGIN: 0px 3px 15px">According to the Italian Coast Guard and non-governmental watchdog groups, the boat, carrying 46 people from Burkina Faso, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Mali, capsized and sank amid high winds late Wednesday, three days after it departed from Sfax in Tunisia, Italy's ANSA News Agency reported.

The Coast Guard said it rescued 22 people and recovered eight bodies, including a girl believed to be between four and eight years old. Another victim, a boy, died before he could be hospitalized.

The survivors and the bodies of the victims were taken to a migrant processing center in Lampedusa, the southernmost island in Italy.

The shipwreck was believed to have taken place in waters between Lampedusa and Malta.

According to the latest data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the total number of migrant arrivals in Europe from across the Mediterranean was just under 45,000 as of April 7. That is around 5,000 more than at the same time in 2023.

Last year, Italy reported the landing of nearly 158,000 migrants and more than 1,900 deaths at sea. It has received 14,600 migrants from the Mediterranean so far this year.