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'No Britons killed in Dominican Republic plane crash'

The crash occurred on the east of the island yesterday. Credit: Google Maps

Enquiries suggest no Britons were involved in a plane crash in the Dominican Republic which killed seven people.

A spokesman from the Foreign Office said: "We are liaising with the authorities in the Dominican Republic following reports of a plane crash in the Punta Cana region of the country.

"Engagement with the local police suggests no British nationals were involved in the incident."

It comes after initial reports suggested two Britons were among the dead.

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UN confirms 800 died in migrant shipwreck off Libya

The United Nations refugee agency has confirmed 800 migrants died in a shipwreck off Libya on Sunday after speaking to survivors of the disaster.

Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy, said: "There were a little over 800 people on board, including children aged between 10 and 12.

"There were Syrians, about 150 Eritreans, Somalians... They had left Tripoli at about 8 am on Saturday."

The disaster is thought to be the worst to have occurred in the Mediterranean in recent history.

Representatives from the UN agency and the International Organization for Migration said they had interviewed the majority of 27 survivors, who described the moment the trawler carrying them capsized after a Portuguese merchant ship approached the vessel, causing a stampede.

The survivors, who came from Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Somalia, Eritrea and Bangladesh, have now been taken to holding centres.

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Captain 'charged with reckless multiple homicide'

The captain of a migrant boat which capsized off the coast of Libya killing hundreds onboard has been charged with reckless multiple homicide, the Associated Press reports.

Assistant Prosecutor Rocco Liguori said the Tunisian national and a Syrian crew member were also charged with "favoring illegal immigration".

As many as 900 people died in the tragedy on Sunday while just 27 survived.

Italian PM: Migrant crisis is equivalent of slave trade

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Credit: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has compared the smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean to the African slave trade centuries ago.

He said: "When we say we are in the presence of slavery, we are not using the word just for effect."

On Sunday Renzi appealed to other European countries not to leave Italy alone in dealing with the crisis prompting emergency talks on the matter.

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