A migrant holds a placard during a protest in front of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in Rome, April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
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The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday that more than 800 people were believed to have drowned in the weekend sinking of a boat packed with migrants trying to reach Europe, making it the deadliest such disaster in the Mediterranean.New details of the tragedy emerged as the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and other aid agencies interviewed some of the 28 survivors who arrived overnight in Catania, Sicily.Survivors put the number of passengers on board the three-deck fishing trawler at 850, according to UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards in Geneva. The migrants had been held for as long as 30 days on a farm near where the boat was docked before being transported in groups of about 30 in trucks to the embarking point, it said.The coast guard, meanwhile, reported that it saved some 638 migrants in six different rescue operations on Monday alone. On Tuesday, a further 446 people were rescued from a leaking migrant ship about 80 miles (130 kilometers) south of the Calabrian coast.Authorities discovered the yacht was a smuggling boat when two merchant ships were called out to aid a boat in distress.
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