More than 6 bodies were found, including the body of an infant girl, off of Lebanon’s northernmost city Tripoli, on Saturday, in what seems to be a failed attempt at a new life.
The latest episode of uninterrupted Lebanese tragedy included a capsized boat filled with illegal migrants, reportedly reaching for Cyprus, the closest European Union gate.
48 survivors were saved from drowning by Lebanese Navy ships, according to the Lebanese Army. “Sea, land, and aerial operations are ongoing to rescue those who remain missing,” the Army added.
The statement also said that 5 bodies were retrieved, while the body of an infant was pushed back to the shore by waves.
Public Works and Transport Minister Ali Hamie told local news reporters that the boat took off from Qalamoun, a region south of Tripoli, and that the “search is still ongoing.” Official news also confirmed that PM Najib Mikati was closely following the mishap.
Without identifying the survivors or the departed or their nationalities, the Army said that one suspect has been arrested for involvement in the illicit activity.
These would-be migrants were boarding a smuggling boat that was neither prepared nor certified to go against the sea.
The largely poverty-ridden area, where systematic marginalization dwells, is increasingly becoming an epicenter for seaborn smuggling operations as the socio-economic anxiety intensely lashes the wide lower social strata.
This happens weeks before the 2022 Lebanese Elections – which is telling about the deep entrenchment of disappointment and disillusionment the average Lebanese feel towards nearby potential reforms.