Malta's prime minister said the people on board a boat that capsized in the Mediterranean on Friday were fleeing the conflict in Syria.
The accident follows last week's disaster off the Italian island of Lampedusa, where 339 Eritrean and Somali migrants drowned.
Joseph Muscat told Sky News:
The difference from last week's tragedy is that these people, instead of Somalia, they hail from Syria which makes the case even more complicated and shows the immense humanitarian tragedy that the Mediterranean is experiencing right now.
More top news
Selfless Donna Wood from Staffordshire has left her husband and children at home so she can help save lives in Sierra Leone.
From Sierra Leone to Cyprus, 8,500 Christmas boxes were sent out to every serviceman and woman from the UK.
Thousands of people have switched off their Christmas lights as a mark of respect for the victims of the Glasgow bin lorry tragedy.