Malta shipwreck survivors say 'militia men' fired at boat
VALLETA, Malta (AFP) - Syrian refugees who survived after their boat capsized off Malta in the latest disaster in the Mediterranean say they were fired on by warring trafficking gangs as they set out on their perilous journey from Libya.
Thirty-three people perished after the boat sank on Friday, a week after another shipwreck off Italy left at least 359 dead, prompting Malta to warn that the Mediterranean was becoming "a cemetery".
The boat, carrying up to 400 migrants, mostly Syrians, left the Libyan port of Zwara on Thursday, just 60km from the Tunisian border.
Survivors said Libyan militia men shot wildly at their boat, leaving several people dead and causing the vessel to take on water and sink.