At least 73 migrants killed in shipwreck off Syrian coast

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The ship had departed from Lebanon

At least 73 migrants died when the ship they were traveling on sank off the coast of Syria, the Syrian health minister said Friday, in the deadliest shipwreck in recent years for Lebanon, from which the ship had departed. “Twenty people have been treated at Al-Basel hospital” in Tartus, a Syrian coastal town, Hassan al-Ghubach said in a statement.

This figure from Syrian sources was released after Lebanese Transport Minister Ali Hamie reported 61 deaths. The Lebanese minister said more than 100 people, mostly Lebanese and Syrians, were on board the small ship that capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Tartus. The boat was carrying 150 people, according to Syrian authorities. Among the rescued are five Lebanese, he added.

Tartus is the southernmost of the main Syrian ports and is located just over 50 kilometers north of the Lebanese port city of Tripoli. Due to the severe economic crisis in Lebanon, more and more Syrian and Palestinian refugees, as well as Lebanese, are trying to cross the Mediterranean in makeshift boats to reach European countries, including the island of Cyprus, 175 kilometers off the Lebanese coast.

According to the UN, at least 38 boats carrying more than 1,500 people have illegally left or attempted to leave Lebanon by sea since 2020.

Source: La Verdad

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