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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

3 Syrian Children, Mother Drown as Migrant Boat Capsizes off Lebanon's Coast


Mon 25 Apr 2022 | 12:37 PM
H-Tayea

On Monday, three Syrian children and their mother were killed when a boat carrying 60 people, including Syrians and Lebanese, capsized off the Lebanese city of Tripoli on Sunday night, while trying to reach the Italian coast by sea.

The country's navy said 48 others were rescued from the overloaded boat, with survivors accusing a naval patrol boat of deliberately crashing into the migrant vessel, causing it to sink 'in less than five seconds'.

The boat carrying nearly 60 people capsized on Saturday night near the port city of Tripoli, the departure point for a growing number of people attempting a sea escape to Cyprus - more than 100 miles away.

The accident, ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for May 15, is not the first of its kind for the crisis-hit country grappling with its worst-ever financial crash.

'The army's naval forces managed to rescue 48 people and retrieve the body of a girl... from a boat that sank while trying to illegally smuggle them out,' the army said in a statement. 'Most people on board were rescued,' the army added, without specifying their nationalities.

The army retrieved five corpses off Tripoli's coast on Sunday, the official National News Agency reported, hours after the body of the little girl was returned to shore.

Wails of relatives rang out from a Tripoli morgue where the corpses were being kept, an AFP correspondent said. Dozens looked on as a group of men stormed the morgue and pulled out the corpse of a victim for burial, the correspondent said.

Outside, dozens of young men lobbed stones at two army tanks and at a nearby army checkpoint, prompting soldiers to fire live rounds in the air.

At Tripoli's port, relatives of the missing impatiently waited for news of their loved ones.

"My nephew, he has five children and his wife is pregnant with twins. He was trying to escape hunger and poverty," one man told AFP.