Migrant ship sinks in Mediterranean killing 10

A boat carrying Tunisian migrants enters the port of Lampedusa on April 12, 2011 The island is close to North Africa.

Story highlights

  • Seventy people, including 62 men and eight women, were rescued, ANSA reports
  • Italy's Navy and Coast Guard is searching for more survivors
  • The report referred to the passengers as migrants, suggesting they're from North Africa

At least 10 people drowned in the Mediterranean when a ship sank between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa Sunday, according to Italy's official news agency.

Seventy people, including 62 men and eight women, were rescued, ANSA reported. One of the women is pregnant, it said.

The search by Italy's Navy and Coast Guard is underway for any other survivors, but the report did not say how many people were still missing.

The report referred to the ship's passengers as migrants, suggesting they are from North Africa.

A boat carrying about 100 migrants from Tunisia ran into trouble in the same area two months ago, triggering a rescue effort by the Italians and NATO ships.

Lampedusa, the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries.

Boats carrying migrants often are in peril at sea.

Amnesty International reported at least 1,500 deaths last year of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

The human rights monitoring group said some of the deaths could have been prevented.

"The desire of some European countries to prevent irregular migration (people who do not have permission to live and work in these countries) has undermined safe and timely rescue at sea," Amnesty International said.