Death Toll Continues to Rise in Italian Migrant Boat Shipwreck 

The death toll from the wooden boat carrying hundreds of migrants that shipwrecked Sunday off the Italian coast has risen to at least 64.

At least one body was pulled out of the sea Monday, according to news outlets.

Survivors estimate that between 150 to 200 people were onboard the vessel that began its journey a few days ago from Turkey. Eighty people survived the tragedy, while officials fear the death toll may reach more than 100. Many of the migrants were from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Reuters news agency reports that three men, a Turkish national and two Pakistani nationals, have been arrested by Italian authorities on suspected trafficking charges.

Huge piles of debris from the vessel began washing up on the beach Monday near the town of Steccato di Cutro, including wood, gas tanks, food containers and children’s toys.

More than 105,000 migrants arrived in Italy by sea during 2022, with most coming from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

Italy has asked other European Union countries to step up and take in some of the migrants, many of whom are not looking to stay in Italy, but instead are focused on traveling elsewhere in Europe to find work and/or reunite with family members.

The government of right-wing Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has approved legislation that has placed strict restrictions on humanitarian groups’ ability to deploy boats to assist with rescues.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

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