Updated (1): Boat capsizes off Lampedusa; 13 women dead

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

A total of thirteen bodies have been recovered by the Italian Coast Guard after a boat capsized early on Monday morning.

A search for the rest of the missing persons is currently underway, among which are eight children.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported that thirteen dead women were brought ashore.

Boat capsizes off Lampedusa; 2 asylum seekers dead

The corpses of two women were recovered from the sea by the Italian authorities, after a boat carrying some 50 migrants capsized. The authorities have spotted two other bodies while 22 survivors have been already brought ashore.

Twenty-two asylum seekers were brought ashore by the Italian Coast Guard after a search and rescue operation coordinated by the authorities in Palermo during the night between 6 and 7 October.

The Italian authorities received a distress call on Sunday night concerning a wooden boat with some 50 migrants off the coast of Lampedusa. According to the Italian Coast Guard, the boat capsized after the asylum seekers moved to one side when the patrol boats arrived on site.

The boat was found around midnight some 6nm off Lampedusa.

The asylum seekers are mainly Tunisians and Sub-Saharan Africans. Some eight children are also thought to be missing.

The Italian authorities continue with their search for the missing persons. The Italian Coast Guard has dispatched its aircraft and patrol boats in the area.

Over 1,000 deaths in 2019

Charlie Yaxley, a spokesperson for the U.N. refugee agency, the UNHCR, said more than 1,000 people had died in the Mediterranean so far this year, most trying to cross from lawless Libya to Europe.

“This highlights once again that urgent action is needed to address the situation in the Mediterranean,” he said.