The Libyan Coast Guard on Thursday rescued 71 undocumented Egyptian migrants who were on their way to Italy when their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea.
Egypt’s Consul in Benghazi, Asraf Sheeha, said that the migrants sent mayday signals and were rescued before their boat went down.
Sheeha stressed that all 71 Egyptians were in good health, with the exception of a man named Fattouh Abdellatif, who lost four fingers on his left hand in a collision. Sheeha added that Fattouh is currently receiving treatment in a Benghazi hospital.
The undocumented migrants departed Alexandria a week ago and were headed to Italy when their boat broke down off the Libyan coast, Sheeha said.
The Libyan authorities allowed the migrants to return to Egypt after the Egyptian Consulate in Libya issued travelling papers, said Sheeha, noting that only Fatouh will remain in Libya until he recovers.
Illegal migration to Europe has been increasing amongst Egyptians and other Africans, who leave because of poor economic opportunities or conflicts on the African continent.
Translated from Al-Masry AL-Youm