More than 300 migrants missing in sea tragedy: UN


UN: Some more than 300 migrants tries to to cross frigid Mediterranean Sea in open, nothing is spared from rubber boats.  Which was reported missing on February 11, by survivors as the UN reguee agency and other aid group sharply criticized the new EU rescue operation as insufficient and costing lives.The suspected deaths add to the 29 reported earlier in the week by the Italian coast guard, which said those victims had died of hypothermia during the voyage that began over the weekend in Libya, where most smuggling operations originate. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said survivors had reported that four boats had left together, without food or water, and that the boats began taking on water almost immediately.

Some 107 people had been rescued by the Italian coast guard and a merchant ship. The agency’s spokeswoman in Italy, Carlotta Sami, said the victims had been “swallowed up by the waves,” the youngest a child of 12. The nationalities of the survivors and those missing were not immediately given, but a large proportion of those arriving at the moment are fleeing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Mali and elsewhere. UNHCR, Save the Children, Amnesty International and other aid groups blasted the new EU-backed rescue patrol as insufficient for the task at hand. The European Union took over Mediterranean patrols after Italy phased out its robust Mare Nostrum operation in November. Mare Nostrum (Our Seas) had been launched in 2013 after 360 migrants drowned off the coast of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa.