A boat believed to be crowded with at least 700 migrants capsized north of Libya overnight, leaving at least 24 confirmed dead and sparking fears for what could become the Mediterranean's deadliest known migrant sea disaster, Italy's Coast Guard and other officials said Sunday.
The incident prompted dismay among exasperated Italian officials and refugee aid agencies, and even drew a plea from Pope Francis — all of whom are demanding more European or international action to halt a tide of risky migration that has often turned deadly. Migrants have aimed for Europe's shores for many years, fleeing war, persecution and conflict in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. But the recent turmoil and warfare in Libya have made it easier for people-smugglers to take to the sea. Read more on Aljazeera