Migrants die in Italy boat shipwreck off Catania


The bodies of six migrants apparently killed in a shipwreck have been recovered on a beach in southern Italy.

Officials in the Sicilian port of Catania say dozens of other migrants have been rescued.

Italian media say the boat ran aground about 15m (50ft) from shore and the migrants were thrown into the sea. Some drowned because they could not swim.

The UN says some 7,800 illegal migrants and asylum seekers landed in Italy in the first half of this year.

Most come from sub-Saharan African countries, particularly Somalia and Eritrea.

The UN said almost 500 people were reported dead or missing at sea during 2012 in attempts to reach Europe.

In Saturday’s incident, the boat was carrying about 120 migrants.

Some reports said women and children were among those on board.

The bodies were reportedly found by employees at a beach resort nearby.

There is no information yet about where their nationality but one port official speculated that they were Syrian.