Boat carrying 60 migrants capsizes off the Lebanese coast

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BEIRUT (AP) — A boat carrying 60 migrants capsized Saturday night off the Lebanese coast, the Lebanese Red Cross said. It was not immediately clear if there were any deaths.

The Red Cross said it sent ambulances to the port of the northern city of Tripoli in case there were casualties.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s office said the boast capsized shortly after leaving the northern coastal town of Qalamoun near Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city.

Mikati’s office said the Lebanese army and authorities were on high alert following the case.

For many years Lebanon was a country that took in refugees, but since the country’s economic meltdown began in October 2019, thousands of people have left on boats heading to Europe.

Lebanon, a small Mediterranean nation of 6 million people, including 1 million Syrian refugees, is in the grip of the worst economic crisis in the country’s modern history. The economic meltdown has put more three-quarters of the country’s population into poverty.

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