At least 10 dead, 35 missing in shipwreck off Libya

Rome (AFP) - At least 10 migrants have died in a shipwreck off Libya and up to 35 more are missing, presumed drowned, Italian media reported on Sunday.

In the latest tragedy to hit the Mediterranean sea, an overcrowded boat which was attempting the crossing from North Africa to Italy sank around 30 miles (50 kilometres) from the Libyan coast, the reports said.

Fifty-five people were saved by a Singapore-flagged merchant ship, which went to the boat's aid after the Italian coastguard received an emergency call by satellite telephone from the floundering vessel.

The survivors said the boat had been carrying around 100 people. Rescuers counted at least 10 bodies in the water which meant some 30 to 35 people may have been lost at sea.

Italy's coastguard requested other ships in the area change course to the wreck's location to help search for any other survivors, the reports said.

Earlier this month, 500 people were feared drowned after their boat sank off Malta, leaving just 10 survivors.

According to the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR), over 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing attempting to cross from North Africa to Europe this year.

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