A man inspects the bodies of three African migrants that were recovered by the Libyan coastguard, after their boat sunk off the coastal town of Garaboly, east of Tripoli, September 15, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny
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GENEVA: This year is on track to become the deadliest year ever for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea: Migration officials say they fear 700 more people fleeing Africa for Europe have died in two separate boat wrecks during the past week -- the same amount as were killed during all of last year.About 500 Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese are feared to have died after their boat was rammed and sank off the Malta coast last week, the inter-governmental organization with 156 member countries said Monday. Another 200 are feared to have died from the capsizing of another boat carrying at least 250 African migrants to Europe off the coast of Libya this week.A coast guard spokesman, Qassim Ayoub, told AP that dozens of bodies were being retrieved 18 kilometers (11 miles) off the coast of Tripoli's Tajoura district and that 36 African migrants, including three women -- one of them pregnant -- were rescued.More than 100,000 people have been rescued at the Mediterranean since January, the U.N. refugee agency said. Both the IOM and Ventriglia said the Panamanian-flagged container ship also rescued more than 380 people who were aboard another boat that sunk in the Mediterranean during the past week.
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