The Italian coastguard and navy found the bodies of 11 Somalis after their boat sank between Italy and Libya.
Another 70 Somalis that survived the accident were pulled from the water on Saturday and Sunday, and were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa, according to Reuters. The coastguard, an Italian tugboat and a navy helicopter are continuing the search for survivors, but did not say how many are still missing.
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A boat carrying around 100 Tunisian migrants ran into trouble in the same area two months ago, requiring a rescue effort by the Italians and NATO ships, reported CNN. Lampedusa has become a destination for many refugees seeking to enter EU countries because of its proximity to Africa.
Amnesty International reported at least 1500 people died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea last year. The human rights group said some of the deaths were preventable.
"The desire of some European countries to prevent irregular migration (people who do not have permission to live and work in these countries) has undermined safe and timely rescue at sea," Amnesty International told CNN.