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UN says hundreds of migrants killed in latest Mediterranean tragedy

The United Nations says at least 300 migrants are feared to have drowned after attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa this week in rough seas.

Director of the UN's refugee agency for Europe, Vincent Cochetel said the incident was a tragedy on an enormous scale.

Nine survivors brought to the island of Lampedusa by the Italian coast guard are believed to be from West Africa.

Initial reports yesterday suggested that at least 29 migrants had died after their dinghy overturned.

The UN said the latest incident should be a message to the European Union that the current search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean was inadequate.

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