Syrian official says 60 dead after migrant boat sinks

BEIRUT — The death toll from a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon that sank in Syrian waters has risen to 60, the governor of Syria’s coastal province of Tartus said on Friday.

Abdul Halim Khalil told pro-government Syria FM that the search for more bodies off the coast of his country continues.

Thousands of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians have left Lebanon on boats in recent months in search of better opportunities in Europe.

Khalil said that the boat sank two days ago.

Lebanon has a population of 6 million, including one million Syrian refugees, and has been in the grip of a severe economic crisis since late 2019 that has pushed more than three-quarters of the population into poverty.

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