The departures of boats illegally transporting Syrian, Lebanese or other migrants have multiplied from Lebanon, a country plunged into an unprecedented economic crisis. But deadly shipwrecks are rare.
The boat left Saturday from the Qalamoun region south of Tripoli, the big city in northern Lebanon, and was carrying around 60 people whose nationality was not specified.
The Lebanese army rescued five bodies of drowned migrants on Sunday after the body of a young girl was recovered on Saturday, bringing the total death toll to six, according to a provisional report from the National News Agency (ANI). ).
So far, 48 people have been rescued, according to the latest official figures.
In a statement, the army said the boat sank shortly after leaving Qalamoun due to too many people on board.
But one of the survivors said the boat sank after being chased by the army.
The patrol boat rammed our boat twicehe told the AFP at the port, before families of survivors tell him to shut up and take him away.
In addition, a man suspected of being involved in the transport of illegal immigrants was arrested, the army said.
On Saturday, the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ali Hamiyé, said that around 60 illegal migrants were on board the boat.
Navy continues search for survivorssaid the director of the port of Tripoli Ahmad Tamer.
The army closed the port, allowing only Lebanese Red Cross ambulances to enter and return.
Mr. Hamiyé went to the port after the accident and lamented a
Relatives of people on board the boat were waiting outside the port on Sunday hoping for news.
It happened because of the politicians who forced the unemployed Lebanese to leave the countrysaid one of them to the AFP.
Lebanon, a small country of about six million inhabitants, is in the grip of a serious financial crisis: the currency has lost more than 90% of its value and the majority of the population now lives below the poverty line.
Much of the population, as well as international organizations and foreign governments blame the crisis on a Lebanese political class that has remained unchanged for decades and accused of corruption and incompetence.
Legislative elections are in principle scheduled for May 15 in this country where the pro-Iranian armed movement of Hezbollah exercises great influence.
My nephew, who has five children and a pregnant wife, was trying to flee […] povertysaid another relative at the entrance to the port of Tripoli.
Two cousins of Nissrine Merheb were on board the boat along with their children.
The people of Tripoli are doomed to dieshe wrote on Facebook.
Even when we try to escape the dirty politicians and their corruption […] death overtakes us.
According to the agencyUN for refugees, at least 1,570 people, including 186 Lebanese, left or attempted to leave Lebanon illegally by sea between January and November 2021.
Most hoped to reach the island of Cyprus, a member of the European Union and located some 175 kilometers away. This figure is up from 270 passengers, including 40 Lebanese, in 2019.
Most of those trying to leave Lebanon by sea are Syrian refugees who fled their war-torn country, but increasing numbers of Lebanese are joining their ranks.