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94 dead after Lebanese migrant ship sinks off the Syrian coast


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Seventeen bodies were recovered Saturday after a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon sank off Syria's coast, raising the overall toll to 94, Syrian state television said, in one of the eastern Mediterranean's deadliest such episodes.

The toll has repeatedly ratcheted higher since the first bodies were found on Thursday.


At least 14 survivors were recovering in hospitals in Syria, while six others were discharged. Two remained in intensive care in Al-Basel Hospital, Syria's official SANA news agency reported earlier.

"The death toll from the boat that sank off the coast of Tartus has risen to 94," state television said.


As many as 150 people were on board the small boat that sank off the Syrian port of Tartus, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Tripoli in Lebanon, from where the migrants set sail.

Those on board were mostly Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians, and included both children and elderly people, the UN said.

Families in Lebanon held a second day of funerals Saturday after they were handed bodies of relatives on Friday night through the Arida border crossing. Others still await the bodies of their relatives.

In Tripoli, anger mixed with grief as relatives received news of the death of their loved ones.

Hundreds of people gathered Saturday in the Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp, north of Tripoli, for the funeral procession of one of the victims, pumping their fists in the air.


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This is tragic on so many levels. The fact that so many people of all ages are being pushed to sail on dangerous boats as a last resort for escaping the hell hole that is this country is just beyond catastrophic. I can't even imagine what they must have gone through. 

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