The women were found dead in the bottom of a partially submerged dinghy, said Italian coastguard spokesman Captain Cosimo Nicastro.
Crew aboard the Italian coastguard patrol boat, the Diciotti, managed to rescue 107 of the people trapped on the sinking dinghy.
In a separate rescue operation, the same crew saved another 116 people aboard another three rubber boats in distress in the same area between Sicily and Libya.
Refugees pay thousands of dollars to people smugglers to get on to the boats, which are often overcrowded, low on supplies, and not fit to travel long distances.
Last year more than a million people made their way to Europe by sea from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The United Nations refugee agency estimates that from April 19, 2015 to today, about 4,937 people have died while making the journey across the sea to Europe.
More than 64,000 people have landed at Italian ports since the start of the year, most of them from sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN.
Jan 22, 2020A Myanmar-appointed panel concluded on Monday (Jan 20) that some soldiers likely committed war crimes against its Rohingya Muslim community but the military was not guilty of genocide, findings swiftly condemned by rights groups. The “Independent Commission Of Enquiry (ICOE)” released the results of its probe just ahead of a ruling on Thursday by the […]
Mar 22, 2019
Mar 21, 2019