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Seven people arrested upon death of 13 refugees off the coast of Sicily

October 02, 2013, 17:33 UTC+3
Five Syrians and two Egyptians illegally transported about 180 immigrants from Syria and Eritrea
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Photo AP Photo/str

Photo AP Photo/str

ROME, October 2. (Itar-Tass). – Seven people were arrested in Italy on charges of involvement in the death of 13 refugees off the coast of Sicily. As reported by local media outlets, five Syrians and two Egyptians illegally transported about 180 immigrants from Syria and Eritrea across the Tunisian (Sicilian) Strait.

September 30, the ship on which they sailed, stranded in the resort town of Scicli, in the south of Sicily, and in an attempt to hide the refugees rushed into the water. Many people that got to the shore managed to escape.

According to the Prosecutor's Office of Catania, the refugees set sail from Tripoli, paying EUR2 thousand each for a seat in the boat.

According to head of Coordination Office of the Mediterranean International Organization for Migration Jose Angelo Oropeza, over the last 20 years 25 thousand immigrants drown in the Mediterranean trying to reach European countries from Africa. "Two thousand drowned in 2011, last year - 1,7 thousand people," he said.

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