Six migrants who drowned off Sicily were Egyptian: Report
ROME (AFP) - The six migrants who drowned off a tourist beach in Sicily, after their boat was abandoned at sea by a larger vessel, were Egyptians, the Italian media reported Sunday, citing investigators.
The six victims, who jumped from a fishing boat on Saturday thinking they had arrived onshore, were identified as between 17 and 27 years of age.
A boat illegally transporting nearly 100 migrants had hit a sandbar about 15m from the shore, and some of them managed to swim to the beach. Others were rescued by the Italian coast guard.
Investigators believe that the boat was transporting more than 100 passengers, mostly Syrians and some Egyptians, of whom 94 were accounted for on Sunday. Three smugglers escaped by jumping into the sea, according to media reports.