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At least 20 dead, dozens missing in shipwreck off Libya

Libyan navy personnel patrol off the coast of Benghazi on February 17, 2013More than 20 migrants have died and dozens are missing after their makeshift boat sank off the Libyan coast, the navy said late Tuesday. “A navy patrol on Monday rescued 22 clandestine migrants who were clinging to debris from their boat,” spokesman Colonel Ayoub Kassem told AFP, adding that more than 20 bodies were plucked from the water. The migrants from south of the Sahara desert had sought to reach the Italian coast or nearby Malta after crossing restive and lawless Libya. This year nearly 80,000 migrants have landed in Italy so far, many more than the 2011 record of a total of 63,000, according to authorities in Rome.

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