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Death toll in migrant boat sinking off Syria climbs to 89

The death toll from the sinking of a boat carrying migrants off the coast of Syria has climbed to 89, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Saturday.

Cairo, 25 September 2022 (dpa/MIA) – The death toll from the sinking of a boat carrying migrants off the coast of Syria has climbed to 89, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Saturday.

Chief of Syrian seaports, Brigadier General Samer Kobrizli, said an unspecified number of dead bodies had been retrieved on Saturday off the Syrian coastal city of Tartus where the boat sunk earlier this week, the report said.

Search operations for others were still ongoing, the official added.

The Observatory for Human Rights, a monitor of Syria’s long-standing civil war, put the deaths from the incident at 91 and said fate of other dozens was still unknown.

At least 20 others survived the sinking of the boat that was heading from neighbouring Lebanon to Italy, the Britain-based observatory added.

There were at least 160 people of different nationalities on board, according to the watchdog.

They included Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians.

Economic hardship in Lebanon has prompted many Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian refugees there to try and reach Europe illegally, risking the dangerous sea route for the chance of a better life.

The incident is one of the deadliest since people started to flee crisis-hit Lebanon by sea to Europe last year.

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