Channel NewsAsia

Italy rescues 12 migrants from sinking boat

The Italian navy said on Tuesday it had rescued 12 migrants and recovered a body after their boat foundered near Libyan shores, and was still searching for other possible survivors.

ROME: The Italian navy said on Tuesday it had rescued 12 migrants and recovered a body after their boat foundered near Libyan shores, and was still searching for other possible survivors.

The navy said it was contacted by a Turkish merchant vessel about a "semi-sunken dinghy" around 40 nautical miles from the Libyan coast.

Territorial waters are usually up to 12 nautical miles out.

"Navy and coastguard naval units immediately set off to the area and managed to rescue 12 people. The search is continuing," the navy said in a statement.

A navy spokesman said it was not yet known how many people were originally on the boat or what countries they came from.

Hundreds of migrants die every year making the perilous Mediterranean crossing in rickety and overcrowded boats -- often setting off from an increasingly lawless Libya.

Most of the asylum-seekers are from Eritrea and Syria, but many are also economic migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna