IP- At least 71 people died on a migrant boat off the Syrian coast after sailing from Lebanon earlier this week, the Lebanese transport minister said, as search operations continued on Friday.

Iran PressMiddle East: The incident is one of the deadliest since many Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians have tried to flee crisis-hit Lebanon by sea to Europe. 

Earlier, the Lebanese transport minister said that 61 people had died in Thursday's disaster. 

The Syrian transport ministry cited survivors as saying the boat left from LebanoLebanon's'ern Minyeh region on Tuesday with between 120 and 150 people onboard.

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Samer Qubrusli, the Syrian director general of ports, said search operations were ongoing on Friday. He had previously said that rough seas and strong winds had made the rescue operation difficult. 

The Syrian government had previously said that 20 survivors were treated in Basel hospital in Tartous.

In April, a boat carrying dozens of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians trying to migrate by sea to Italy went down more than 5km (3 miles) from the port of Tripoli following a confrontation with the Lebanese navy. Dozens were killed in the incident. 


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More than 60 migrants dead, after boat carrying them sinks off Syria's coast