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At least 50 migrants are believed to have died and more were feared dead after boat caught fire and sank off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, leaving more than a hundred people in the water, officials said.
Coast guard official Floriana Segreto says rescue operations are continuing following the incident. Coast guard, police boats and two helicopters are currently in the area.
A fishing boat pulled around 60 people out of the water this morning and raised the alarm.
Those rescued came from Africa, the mayor of Lampedusa said. The boat sank just four days after 13 migrants drowned when their boat foundered off eastern Sicily.
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Some 30,100 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, the UN says.