Thursday Mar 02, 2023
ISLAMABAD: At least seven Pakistanis have died in a boat wreck near Libya’s port city of Benghazi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) confirmed on Thursday.
Addressing a weekly press briefing, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the Pakistani embassy in Libya was facilitating the process of identification of the bodies.
The FO spokesperson said the bodies would be transported to Pakistan with the support of local authorities and the international committee of the Red Cross.
She maintained that the embassy and the foreign ministry were also in contact with the families of the deceased.
In another incident, last Sunday, at least 30 Pakistanis died and 17 were rescued after their overloaded boat sank in stormy seas off Italy’s southern Calabria region.
More than 60 people died, including some children when a wooden sailing boat carrying migrants crashed against rocks on the southern Italian coast early on Sunday. Later, the Italian authorities said they had arrested two Pakistanis and one Turk were on suspicion of trafficking up to 200 migrants aboard the wooden boat.
Lieutenant Colonel Alberto Lippolis said two Pakistani nationals and a Turkish man had sailed the boat from Turkey to Italy despite the terrible weather and were identified by survivors as "the main culprits of the tragedy".
"According to initial investigations, they allegedly asked the migrants for about 8,000 euros ($8,485) each for the deadly journey," said Lippolis, commander of a finance police team in the region of Calabria. "All three have been arrested."
— Additional input from Reuters