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Lebanon tragedy: military asked to investigate why migrant boat capsized

by Apr 27, 2022Arab News

A relative carries the coffin of a woman who died when an inflatable boat sank off the Lebanese port of Tripoli, at her funeral in the city. Reuters

Lebanon’s government asked the military on Tuesday to investigate the deadly sinking of a migrant boat, following allegations by survivors that the navy was responsible for the accident.

It was still unclear what led the small, overloaded boat to sink off the coast of Tripoli on Saturday.

Seven people, including a child, were killed and more are missing.

The boat carried at least 60 passengers, many times over its capacity. Authorities said 47 were rescued.

The military was given the task of conducting “transparent investigations into the circumstances behind the incident” under the supervision of the judiciary, AP cited Information Minister Ziad Makari as saying following an emergency Cabinet session.

Survivors accused the Lebanese Navy of ramming the vessel while trying to force it back to shore.

Lebanese officials have blamed smugglers for overloading the boat and ignoring safety precautions.

President Michel Aoun said the incident must be investigated because of “conflicting accounts of events”.

Senior military officials, including army chief Joseph Aoun, navy commander Col Haitham Dnaoui, and head of military intelligence Brig Gen Tony Kahwaji were summoned to present the findings of their preliminary investigation.

The funeral procession after seven people were killed when a boat packed with migrants sank at the weekend as the Lebanese navy tried to force it back to shore, in Tripoli, north Lebanon. AP

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