Funeral services are held in Malta for victims of the Libya migrant shipwreck disaster, as EU leaders meet to discuss plans aimed at preventing similar tragedies in the future. Mana Rabiee reports.
On the Mediterranean island of Malta ... funeral services for some of the victims of Sunday's migrant boat disaster, that killed over 800 people. An interfaith service outside the local morgue for 24 drowned victims ... the only bodies found so far in one of the worst such disasters ever recorded. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IMAM MOHAMMED EL SADI, STANDING NEXT TO BISHOP OF GOZO MARIO GRECH DURING INTER-FAITH SERVICE, SAYING: "This event reminds us that we are all immigrants and our life is a journey of migration." It's a tragedy at the forefront of talks among European Council leaders, meeting for a hastily convened emergency summit in Brussels. Ministers are under pressure to prevent similar catastrophes, with Italy saying it's bearing the brunt of the problem on its shores. But in the Sicilian city of Palermo, some locals don't have much faith in these summits. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) PALERMO RESIDENT, LUIGI SOMA, SAYING: "There was another tragedy one and half years ago and nothing has changed. Actually, I think the situation has only got worse. So I don't think anything to our benefit will come out of this meeting." Among the summit proposals .. operations to destroy the boats of the traffickers BEFORE they take migrants on board. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius: (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER, LAURENT FABIUS, SAYING: "I hope some firm measures will be adopted this afternoon and I am convinced about that because the Mediterranean cannot become a cemetery." But Italy projected on Thursday that -- unless something is done -- as many as 5,000 migrants a WEEK could arrive by sea from North African ports in just the next five months -- 200,000 by the end of the year.