14 killed in sinking of migrants' ship off Italy

At least 14 people were killed when a ship carrying migrants sank about 100 miles off southern Italy Monday, the Italian navy said.

Italy's coast guard rescued about 200 other people who'd been on the ship, the state-run ANSA news agency reported.

The incident came a day after a boat carrying illegal migrants sank off the coast of Tripoli, Libya, killing at least 40 people, according to an account from Libya's Interior Ministry.

Southern Italy -- especially tiny Lampedusa, which is the closest Italian island to Africa -- is a frequent destination for refugees seeking to enter European Union countries from Africa. Migrants often pack into unseaworthy and ill-equipped boats, and shipwrecks off Italian shores are common.

The Italian military has rescued about 2,000 migrants in the last five days alone, Italy's navy said Monday, highlighting the difficulty in keeping up with the flow of migrants seeking to reach European soil. Tens of thousands of people are rescued from the Mediterranean each year, according to the European Union border agency, Frontex.

The deaths of more than 300 African migrants in a shipwreck off Lampedusa last October shocked Italy and the world, and led to calls for EU lawmakers to review their migration policies.

A rescue operation established by the Italian government after that tragedy saved more than 20,000 people at sea through early April, the United Nations' refugee agency said. Nearly 43,000 migrants arrived in Italy by sea in 2013, according to the agency.

Many of the migrants are from African nations, while others have fled war-torn Syria.

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