‘Italy, Malta rescuing 2 migrant boats in distress’

Updated - November 17, 2021 11:07 am IST

Published - April 20, 2015 07:23 pm IST - ROME

Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Italy and Malta are working to rescue two migrant boats in distress in the Mediterranean, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Monday, after hundreds were feared dead in a shipwreck over the weekend.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the death toll from the weekend's shipwreck would be 900 people if reports were confirmed. So far, 28 people have been rescued and 24 bodies recovered, and officials had said the total number of people on the boat was around 700.

Mr. Renzi said the number of distress calls from migrant boats, often packed with people fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East in search of a better life in Europe, was rising.

One of the two vessels in distress is a rubber boat about 30 miles from the coast of Libya with 100-150 people on board and the other is a larger boat with around 300 on board, Mr. Renzi said.

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