The number of the victims of Lebanese smuggling boat heading for Italy has soared to 94. Along with Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrians were in the boat.
Following a boat splashdown three days ago, more migrants’ and refugees’ corpses are still being pulled from the waters near Syria. While the detention of an alleged smuggler in connection with one of the most catastrophic boat accidents in the region was announced the tragedy brought the casualty count to 94.
Local media in Syria confirmed the number of deaths saying “there are 94 victims, while 14 people are receiving treatment at Al-Basel Hospital, two of whom are in intensive care.”
Up to 150 passengers were on board the tiny boat, so many are likely still missing. The boat left the unstable Lebanon in hope of a better life for the passengers. Approximately 30 miles north of Tripoli in Lebanon, it crashed off the Syrian town of Tartous.
According to the UN, those on board comprised both youngsters and old people and were primarily the nationals of Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon. In Tripoli, burials for the deceased continued the following day.
The Lebanese army claims to have detained a guy who was allegedly responsible for the alleged “smuggling operation” to Italy. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, described it as a heart-wrenching catastrophe.
Lebanon has been engulfed in an economic meltdown in the past three years. The World Bank has dubbed the condition in Lebanon as one of the harshest in recent era. At the same time, the nation is sheltering more than a million Syrian conflict refugees.
Lebanese nationals have been compelled to join Syrian and Palestinian refugees due to the poor economic circumstances. In quest of a better life, the group takes life-threatening boat trips.
Refugees Crisis; Quest for Hope
Since 2020, there has been an increase in the number of migrants trying to make the risky boat passage to Europe from Lebanon’s coasts.
According to reports, the economic outlook in Lebanese territories has rendered refugees from Syria, Palestine and Lebanon equally distressed. “They’ve seen these tragedies in the past… yet they take this dangerous journey,” Khodr emphasized.
According to UNHCR spokesman Rula Amin, the Lebanese populace has seen a sharp decline in living conditions and does not perceive any hope for the future. “They need hope; they need to know that there are other options other than taking to the sea. That’s why the international community has to come forward.”
Ten children were among those who died in the most recent accident, according to preliminary reports, the UN organization for children, stated. “Years of political instability and economic crisis in Lebanon have pushed many children and families into poverty, affecting their health, welfare and education,” UNICEF explained.
No one boards one of these suicide carriers on personal will, according to Philippe Lazzarini, head of the United Nations organization for Palestinian refugees.
People are risking their lives and making this dangerous choice in an effort to preserve their respect. To provide a brighter future and combat a sense of pessimism in Lebanon and the rest of the region, according to Lazzarini, there needs to be much more effort.
The International Organization for Migratory’s (IOM) stated that People who are after security should not be forced to undertake such hazardous and sometimes fatal migration treks. Most boats leaving Lebanon go toward Cyprus, an island in the European Union, which is located over 100 miles in the west.
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