Posted BY: | NwoReport

Rescuers recover a body at a beach near Cutro, southern Italy, after a migrant boat broke apart in rough seas, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. Rescue officials say an undetermined number of migrants have died and dozens have been rescued after their boat broke apart off southern Italy. (AP Photo/Giuseppe Pipita)

ROME (AP) — At least 43 migrants perished when their overcrowded wooden boat smashed into rocky reefs just off southern Italy at dawn Sunday, the Italian Coast Guard said.

“As of now, 80 persons were recovered alive — some of whom succeeded in reaching the shore after the shipwreck — and 43 bodies were found along the shore,” the Coast Guard statement said shortly before noon.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni said that the migrants were crowded into a 20-meter (66-foot) -long boat in “adverse weather conditions.” In a statement released by her office, she expressed “her deep sorrow for the many human lives torn away by human traffickers.”

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“It’s inhumane to exchange the live of men, women and children for the ‘price’ of a ticket paid by them in the false prospect for a safe voyage,” said Meloni, a far-right-wing leader whose governing allies includes the anti-migrant League party.

She vowed to use her leadership to press for crackdowns on departures arranged by human smugglers and to press fellow European Union leaders to help Italy in her quest.

A chunk of the boat, along with piles of splintered wood, littered the beach at Steccato di Cutro, part of Calabria’s coastline along the Ionian sea. Some of the survivors tried to keep warm, wrapped in what appeared to be colorful blankets or sheets.

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