Italy Migrant Boat In Trouble Off Sicily
A boat carrying more than 200 illegal migrants is in trouble in waters off Sicily, officials say.
Local media reports suggest the vessel – carrying Somali and Eritrean nationals – may have capsized between Sicily and Tunisia.
Italian ships – backed by helicopters – are assisting at the scene. A number of people have already been rescued.
Last week more than 300 people drowned when a boat carrying African migrants sank near the island of Lampedusa.
Details about Friday’s rescue operation remain unclear.
Italy’s coast guard and Maltese officials said the boat capsized in waters where Malta had search and rescue responsibilities, according to the Associated Press.
The vessel was reportedly first spotted by the Maltese air force who then requested Italy’s help.
Italy’s Ansa news agency reports that bodies were seen in the water – but this has not been officially confirmed.