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Distress call from sinking boat in Mediterranean with 300 people on board


migrant-crisis-res_3273144bThe International Organization for Migration said Monday it had received a distress call from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean carrying more than 300 people, with at least 20 people reported dead.

IOM’s Rome office has received a call for help from one of three boats floating near each other in international waters, spokesman Joel Millman said.

“The caller said that there are over 300 people on his boat and it is already sinking (and) he has already reported fatalities, 20 at least,” he wrote in an email, adding that no further details were yet available.

The announcement came as European Union interior and foreign ministers were due to meet to discuss the latest migrant tragedy Sunday when some 700 people were feared killed after a boat capsized off Libya.

That disaster followed a week in which two other migrant shipwrecks left an estimated 450 people dead, sparking calls for immediate action.

Some 11,000 migrants have been rescued since the middle of last week alone and current trends suggest last year’s total of 170,000 landing in Italy is likely to be exceeded in 2015.

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