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Italy: Somali Olympic sprinter died at sea trying to reach Italian shores

last update: August 21, 10:56

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Mogadishu, 21 Aug. (AKI) - A Somali Olympic sprinter died in April during an attempt to reach Italian shores aboard a migrant boat, according Italian news reports, citing Somali National Olympic Committee.

Samia Yusuf Omar, born in 1991, departed from Libyan shores but the boat she travelled in sank.

"Samia died for trying to reach the West. She took a boat from Libya to reach Italy. But she never arrived," announced Abdi Bile former Somali 1,500 meter champion Abdi Bile during a meeting of the Somali Olympic Committee.

Thousands of migrants risk their lives aboard rickety vessels to reach Europe from North Africa. According Human Rights Watch, 170 deaths have been registered as a result of the attempt during the first six months of this year. Up to many 13,500 people died in such since 1998, including at least 1,500 in 2011, the deadliest on record, the report said.

Omar was a member of the Somali Olympic team during the 2008 Games in Beijing where she took part in the 200 meter event.


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