CAIRO: Dozens of Gazans, including children, are believed to have drowned off the coast of Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria in an illegal immigration attempt Saturday, Palestine News Network (PNN) reported.
Some 116 passengers were rescued and the search for the rest is still underway. Of those rescued are 72 Palestinians, 40 Syrians and four Egyptians. Twelve unidentified bodies have been recovered thus far, PNN reported.
The boat, which was maxed past capacity with passengers, hit a large underwater rock, according to i24 News.
Egyptian authorities contacted families in Gaza to inform them that a boat carrying their relatives sank in Egyptian waters as it was heading to Italy, according to PNN.
Egyptian officials requested close relatives of the rescued people receive their family members in Cairo, PNN reported, while i24 said the rescued will be deported to Gaza, as they had illegally entered Egypt through tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border.