UNHCR says latest incident brings total number of people dead or missing since the start of the year to more than a thousand. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT. NO REPORTER NARRATION. More than 200 migrants are feared to have died in the Mediterranean over the weekend, with several bodies, including an infant, having washed up on the coast of Libya. About 7,500 people have been rescued in the waters off the coast of Libya since Thursday (May 4), according to the Italian and Libyan Coast Guards. Two groups of survivors said hundreds drowned when their rubber boats began to deflate. Some 540 migrants were brought to shore in Catania, Sicily on Monday (May 8) in shuttle runs by smaller vessels from an Italian naval ship that remained outside of the port. A UNHCR spokesperson said the number of people who have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year now totalled over 1,150. Medea Savary also said an increased number of Syrian families are using the route across the sea to Italy, possibly as a result of the ongoing fighting in Syria and a deterioration in conditions in Libyan refugee camps.