Beirut, September 23 (QNA) -The number of migrants who died after a boat sank off the coast of Tartus governorate, western Syria yesterday, has risen to 53, after rescue teams found 17 drowned people today.
The Lebanese Minister of Transport Ali Hamiyah confirmed, in a statement, that bodies of 53 people had been recovered off the Syrian coast, noting that most of the bodies were without identification papers.
Syrian authorities began to find bodies in the sea off the coast of Tartus yesterday. The authorities have not yet explained what happened to the boat.
They said that about 20 survivors had been found, while a number of survivors said that the boat sailed from the Minieh region in northern Lebanon on Tuesday, with between 120 and 150 people on board.
According to preliminary information, the boat included Syrians, Palestinians and Lebanese on an illegal migration journey towards Italy.
Today, the director general of Syrian seaports Samer Kobaresli, said that rescue efforts are continuing, noting that rescue operations were halted during the night hours due to unfavorable weather conditions, including high waves.
Earlier, dozens of people in the northern city of Tripoli organized a protest with the aim of alerting the authorities that they had lost contact with a boat heading towards Italy with dozens of migrants on board.
Lebanon witnessed a jump in migration rates, driven by one of the severest economic crises in the world since the 1850s, and besides those who emigrate from the Lebanese, there are also many refugees from Syria and Palestine who are venturing into the perilous journey on immigration boats.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said earlier that the number of people who left Lebanon or tried to leave by sea nearly doubled in 2021 compared to 2020, and rose again by more than 70 percent in 2022 compared to the corresponding period last year.
It explained that the main reasons for this increase include the inability to stay in Lebanon due to the economic situation, lack of access to basic services and limited job opportunities. (QNA)
23 September 2022
Number of Dead of Sunken Boat off Tartus Governorate in Syria Rises to 53
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General, Arab Affairs, Arab Countries, Lebanon
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