Malta fears 71 Illegal migrants drowned
Malta is a popular destination for human trafficking and illegal immigrants who wants to reach the European Union. Malta, the smallest of the 27 EU member states, is a target for Asian and Africans trying to get into Europe by boat from North Africa, with Libya being the most common point of departure and now this latest episode clearly indicates that how people are mad and put their life on risk for entering into European territory.
European Parliament is becoming stringent about illegal immigrant and in June even passed a controversial set of EU rules for dealing with illegal migrants, which allow those caught to be detained for up to 18 months and face a five-year re-entry ban.
As many as 71 African migrants drowned after their boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea, eight of their companions have told Maltese police.
The survivors were rescued by a fishing vessel from a semi-submerged dinghy about 70km (40 miles) off Malta, then handed over to a Maltese military boat.
The ship and a military aircraft searched the area for other survivors but none were found, the police said.
Malta - the smallest EU member state - is a leading destination for migrants.
More than 1,000 have managed to reach the island so far this year, mainly from Libya and North Africa. On Sunday, more than 100 were brought ashore in two separate operations off the Maltese coast.
The last major loss of life off Malta's coast came in May 2007, when a small boat adrift went missing with at least 53 migrants on board.