Taliban says 80 Afghans drowned off the coast of Italy

The Taliban’s ministry of foreign affairs has said that 80 Afghan citizens, including women and children, drowned in the migrants shipwreck off the coast of Italy on Sunday.

According to reports, at least 100 people, including children and a baby, have died after their boat thought to be carrying 200 people from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Somalia, Syria and Iraq, near the southern coast of Italy on Sunday morning.

“With great sadness, we learned that 80 Afghan refugees, including women and children, who were traveling from Türkiye to Italy in a wooden boat, drowned and died in the southern sea of Italy,” the Taliban said in a statement on Tuesday, urging international organisations to help repatriate the bodies of the victims.

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Police in Italy have detained a Turkish man and two Pakistani nationals on alleged human trafficking following the deadly incident.

Italy is a major destination for refugees from Asia and Africa, many of whom then travel to Western Europe to seek asylum.

According to monitoring groups, more than 20,000 people have died or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean since 2014.