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Italy migrant death toll hits 250

Italian divers have recovered more bodies from the wreck of a smugglers' ship that sank off the tiny island of Lampedusa, raising the death toll to 250.

Coast guard commander Filippo Marini said 18 bodies were recovered on Tuesday from within the ship's hold, while one was spotted by a helicopter floating near the wreck.

Mr Marini said the search would continue as long as the weather allows. Just 155 migrants, most if not all from Eritrea, survived last Thursday's shipwreck.

Survivors said there were some 500 people on board when the ship capsized and sank in sight of land.

A disproportionate number of the dead are women: so far the bodies of 75 women have been recovered, while only six of the survivors were female. Seven of the dead are children.

AP

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