42 dead after boat carrying 600 people capsizes off Egyptian coast

Migrants who were rescued from the boat. Credit: Reuters

A boat carrying around 600 migrants has capsized off the coast of Egypt, killing at least 42 people, officials said.

"An illegal migration boat has capsized off the coast of Kafr al-Sheiklh carrying 600 migrants in the largest illegal migration operation through the Kafr al-Sheikh coast so far," state news agency MENA quoted a local official as saying.

Rescue workers have managed to save 150 people, MENA said.

The boat was carrying Syrian, Egyptian, and African migrants, according to security services.

It was not immediately clear where the boat was headed, though security sources said they believed it was headed for Italy.

More and more people have been trying to cross to Europe from the African coastline, particularly from Libya, where traffickers operate with relative impunity.