The six migrants who drowned off the Sicilian port of Catania on Saturday have been identified as Egyptians, Al-Ahram reported Sunday, citing investigators who said that their boat was abandoned at sea by a larger vessel.
The victims, aged between 17 and 27, had apparently jumped off the boat thinking they had arrived on shore.
The boat had hit a sandbar about 15 meters from the shore. Reports said the boat was carrying around 100 migrants, some of whom were Syrian, who managed to swim to the beach. Others were rescued by the Italian coastguard.
Another vessel carrying 80 migrants, mostly Syrians and Egyptians, was caught in the sand on Sunday but with no reported causalities near Calabria, southern Italy.
Five boats have arrived at Calabria over the past 15 days, Al-Ahram reported.
Some 7,800 undocumented migrants and asylum seekers landed in Italy in the first half of this year, according to figures by the UN.