French ship finds bodies of 16 illegal migrants

1st June 2007, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - The bodies of 16 illegal migrants were fished out of the sea off Malta on Friday by a French ship, French maritime police said.

MARSEILLE, France, June 1, 2007 (AFP) - The bodies of 16 illegal migrants were fished out of the sea off Malta on Friday by a French ship, French maritime police said.

"At this stage, 16 bodies have been recovered, but recovery operations are continuing," said Emmanuel Dinh, spokesman for the maritime police.

He said the bodies appeared to be in a state of decomposition, indicating they may have been in the water for several days.

The search zone was near the border between Maltese and Libyan territorial waters.

The Maltese military said in a statement that the bodies had been found in Libyan waters.

"Diplomatic efforts are currently underway between France and Libya" for the French frigate to enter port and offload the corpses, the statement said.

Several boats carrying illegal migrants have recently sunk in the same area.

On May 21, a boat carrying 53 migrants disappeared off Malta after having been spotted by a Maltese military plane. Rescuers sent to the area could not locate the boat.

A few days later, a boat that had left from northern Africa sank off Malta, according to the sole survivor, a 23-year-old man who said 28 other people had been aboard.

Every year thousands of immigrants attempt to make it to Europe across the Mediterranean from northern Africa, often undertaking dangerous journeys in unsuitable craft.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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