Save the Children estimates 400 sea deaths over the weekend

NGO hears grisly tales behind sea exodus to Italian shores

14 April, 20:03

    A child among hundreds of migrants who disembarked Tuesday in the port city Reggio Calabria A child among hundreds of migrants who disembarked Tuesday in the port city Reggio Calabria

    (ANSAmed) - ROME - As many as 400 migrants may have died in the Mediterranean sea between Saturday and Monday, according to witness accounts collected by charity Save the Children and released on Tuesday.

    It based its estimate on interviews among 150 people who disembarked Tuesday in the southern Italian port city Reggio Calabria, as well as interviews from among hundreds of other survivors who were rescued and delivered to other Italian coastal locations.

    Many of the immigrants had set sail from the shores of Libya, which is plagued by violence and civil war. Officials say more than 8,000 people were rescued between Friday and Monday alone, and more arrived on Tuesday.

    Save the Children said that among those rescued were about 450 children, 317 of whom we not accompanied by adults.

    "Many of them have endured and witnessed atrocious violence, and have lost friends, relatives or parents, also in the latest shipwrecks," said Valerio Neri, managing director of Save the Children in Italy. "According to the accounts, the situation in Libya is increasingly out of control, and unprecedented violence is also on the streets," Neri added.

    Excerpts of witness accounts released by Save the Children were grisly.

    "In Tripoli we lived for four months in a sardine factory.

    We were more than a thousand people," one 17-year-old witness told the group. "We ate only once a day and we could not do anything" but wait for the sea voyage.(ANSAmed).

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