Pope for action to avoid new boat tragedies in Mediterranean

Vatican City - Pope Francis has urged the international community to act after the sinking of a ship, which is feared to have killed 150 migrants in the Mediterranean.

"I have received with pain the news of the dramatic wreck of a few days ago in the waters of the Mediterranean, in which dozens of migrants lost their lives, including women and children," Pope said during Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's Square on Sunday.

He renewed his call for the international community "to act quickly and decisively to prevent similar tragedies from repeating and guarantee the safety and dignity of all".

The Pope also invited people to pray with him for the victims and their families of the wreck on July 25.

The UN Refugee Agency said quoting survivors as many as 150 people had disappeared into the water in the greatest tragedy in the Mediterranean since May 2017.

The tragedy happened around 9 km off the coast of Libya, when a wooden boat with around 250-300 people on board, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, began to sink due to engine problem.

At that time, there were no rescue ships in operation, which could come to the aid of the stricken vessel.

Currently, the only operational ship is the "Ocean Viking" of SOS Mediterranée and Doctors without Borders, but it has not yet reached the area.

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Source: IANS