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Egypt Migrant Boat Deliberately Sunk?

Reports from two Palestinian survivors indicate that an illegal migrant boat which departed from Egypt was deliberately sunk by traffickers.

Staff Writer

A disturbing report is emerging that a migrant boat from Egypt may have been deliberately sunk drowning as many as 500 people.

The incident occurred after a ship departed from the Egyptian port of Damietta on September 6th 2014. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) quoted two Palestinian survivors as telling them that the traffickers deliberately sank the boat filled with with about 500 Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian and Sudanese migrants, after they refused an at-sea transfer onto a more rickety vessel. Supposedly the Palestinian survivors were rescued by a passing cargo ship after spending 36 hours at sea and taken to Pozzallo, Sicily, on Saturday.

“If this story — which is being investigated by police — is confirmed, it would be the biggest shipwreck of recent years. It would be particularly serious as it would not be an incident, but an episode of mass killing,” the IOM said in a statement. Reiterating the need for security on the sea the IOM statement adds that: “These tragic events show, on one side, how it is necessary for the high—sea rescue operations to continue [...], and on other, what level of aberration has been reached by human traffickers, as they are placing migrants on ever more rickety and overcrowded boats, directly or indirectly causing the death of thousands.”

Further details are expected soon, in the meantime here is a video by BBC explaining what happened, and as soon as the investigation releases its finding we will make sure to update this tragic story.