Seven hundred people are feared to have drowned when a fishing boat smuggling migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the UN's refugee agency said Sunday, in what could be the deadliest Mediterranean migrant disaster yet. Only 28 people survived the capsize, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told the Skytg24 news channel in Italy. "We have deployed our assets along with others from Italy and we are assisting in the rescue operation," a Maltese navy spokesman told AFP Sunday without giving any other details. If confirmed, the tragedy would be by far the biggest in a growing catalogue of mass drownings of migrants attempting to reach the European Union on overcrowded, unseaworthy boats run by people smugglers.
By James Mackenzie ROME (Reuters) - As many as 700 people are feared dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the Libyan coast overnight, in one of the worst disasters seen in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, officials said on Sunday. Twenty eight people were rescued in the incident, which happened in an area just off Libyan waters, south of the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, an Italian coast guard official said. If confirmed, the disaster would be one of the worst seen during the decades-long migrant crisis in the southern Mediterranean and would bring the total number of dead since the beginning of the year to more than 1,500. "At the moment, we fear that this is a tragedy of really vast proportions," Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, told SkyTG24 television.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told military commanders on Sunday the United States had created the "myth" of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat, hardening his rhetoric before nuclear negotiations resume this week. Khamenei, the highest authority in Iran, has supported the talks but continues to express deep mistrust of the United States. "They created the myth of nuclear weapons so they could say the Islamic Republic is a source of threat.
BOSTON (AP) â Ben Affleck requested that the PBS documentary series "Finding Your Roots" not reveal he had a slave-owning ancestor, according to emails published online by whistleblower site WikiLeaks, and the information never appeared on the program.
BAGHDAD (AP) â More than 90,000 people have fled the Islamic State group's advance in Iraq's western Anbar province, which has set off fierce fighting in and around the provincial capital Ramadi, a United Nations humanitarian agency said Sunday.