VALLETTA, Malta – A Maltese ship has brought 143 survivors from a capsized smugglers' boat to Malta while a search continues for victims.
Italian Naval spokesman Cmdr. Marco Maccaroni said 34 people drowned after the boat capsized Friday afternoon. Other survivors in good health were still onboard an Italian frigate, which Maccaroni said also rescued 180 people from other boats in the same area overnight.
Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said Saturday that most of the migrants in the latest tragedy were fleeing civil war in Syria.
It was the second time in recent days that a smugglers' ship has capsized in the Mediterranean. A boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa with 500 aboard. Only 155 survived.