Sunday, 14 September 2014

15 Palestinian migrants dead after boat capsizes off Egypt coast


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fifteen migrants from Gaza died on Saturday after a boat they were riding in capsized in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of al-Ajami near Alexandria in northern Egypt, Egyptian military sources said.

The military sources told Ma'an that 15 bodies were pulled out of the sea and 72 people were rescued from the water after the navy and border guards received a call for help from a vessel called "Abu Othman."

Naval forces and a helicopter were sent to the area from which the signal arrived, and they found that the boat had been wrecked after hitting a rock off the coast soon after departing from shore.

The sources said that the Palestinians on board had fled from Gaza through smuggling tunnels into Egypt and were trying to escape to Italy, alongside a number of Egyptian and Syrian migrants.

The rescued Palestinians were taken to hospitals in Alexandria, and Egyptian security sources said they would be deported by Egyptian security forces back to the Gaza Strip after their recovery.

As the joint Israel-Egyptian siege on the Gaza Strip has been tightened over the last year, many Palestinians have attempted to flee to Egypt and from there board ships bound for Europe in search of a better life. more

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