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Dozens of migrants killed as boat sinks off Syrian coast

The bodies of 71 migrants have been found after the boat they were travelling in sank off Syria’s coast, the health minister has said, the BBC reports.

Twenty survivors are being treated in a hospital in the Syrian city of Tartus.

Officials said Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian nationals – including women and children – were believed to be among the 120-150 people who were on board when the boat sank on Thursday.

It is not clear what caused the accident. A rescue attempt is ongoing.

Officials added that the vessel had departed from from Minyeh, a city near the Lebanese port city of Tripoli.

The boat is believed to have been heading to Europe when it sank.

Lebanon hosts an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, and almost 14,000 from other countries, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It hosts the largest number of refugees per capita in the world.

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