The death toll continued to rise late on Thursday in the horrific shipwreck off the coast of southern Italy, with Italian officials saying that at least 111 had died and some 200 more still unaccounted for. Between 450 and 500 African migrants were believed to be on board the ship when it set off from Libya, reportedly heading for the Italian island of Lampedusa, a frequent port of call made by thousands of African migrants each year looking for a better life in Europe. The island is only 70 miles from the coast of Tunisia, closer than to mainland Italy, and is a often the destination for smugglers, who transport people in often rickety, overcrowded boats. The 66-foot boat was overloaded with migrants from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, an Italian coast guard spokesman told the Associated Press.

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