Death toll of shipwrecked migrants off Syrian coast rises to 71

The death toll from the migrant boat disaster off the coast of Syria has risen to 71, a Lebanese minister has announced. The ship had departed from Lebanon and had mostly Lebanese people on board.

The boat sank two days ago in the Mediterranean Sea near the Syrian port city of Tartous, the governor of the province of the same name confirmed this morning. At that time, he kept the death toll at sixty, but said that bodies are still being searched for on the water.

Around twenty passengers were taken alive from the sea and taken to hospital. Survivors of the ship disaster speak of 120 to 150 people on board, including people from Syria and the Palestinian territories. They were trying to reach Europe to build a better life.

It is still unclear why the ship sank.