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Eight refugees die in shipwreck off Libya

Eight refugees die in shipwreck off Libya
From Al Jazeera - January 7, 2018

At least eight refugees have died and 86 others were rescued off the coast of Libya after a rubber dinghy ran into trouble in what is believed to be the first Mediterranean shipwreck of 2018.

Italy's coastguard said an aircraft on patrol for a European anti-smuggling operation spotted the dinghy on Saturday morning.

Sergio Liardo, an Italian coastguard commander, told Italian state TV RaiNews24 that "it appears the dinghy deflated" after a puncture.

When rescuers arrived in the early afternoon, some 20 people were still in the dinghy while others were in the water.

All eight victims were women, Liardo said.

Rescue agencies said many more were still missing, and said the death toll could be as high as 25.

Proactiva Open arms, a Spanish humanitarian group, said some people on the boat spent hours in the water before being saved.

PROACTIVA OPEN ARMS (@openarms_fund) January 6, 2018

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