After their overloaded boat capsized in choppy waters off southern Italy, more than 30 migrants—including a newborn—have died and dozens more have survived.
Near the coastal town of Crotone in the Calabria region, the vessel reportedly broke apart as it attempted to land with about 100 people aboard.
At a nearby seaside resort, a large number of bodies have been found on the beach.
Each year, a sizable number of people fleeing war and poverty travel from Africa to Italy.
Although the origin of this boat is unknown, the Adnkronos news agency claimed that those on board were from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
According to the news agency, the ship sank after hitting rocks in bad weather.
The Italian government has organized a sizable land- and sea-based search and rescue operation.
According to Danilo Maida, spokesman for the Calabrian firefighters, the death toll "has exceeded 30.". The national firefighters' department posted on the Telegram messaging app, "Several dead are reported among the migrants, (and) about 40 survivors.".
The new right-wing government in Italy has vowed to stop the flow of migrants arriving at its shores and has recently pushed through a strict new law that tightens the guidelines for rescue operations.
Over 20,000 people have perished or gone missing at sea in the central Mediterranean since 2014, claim monitoring organizations.