ARIDA BORDER CROSSING, Lebanon (AP) — At least 77 people were killed when a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon sank off Syria this week, the country’s health minister said Friday, amid fears the death toll could be far higher.

The incident was deadliest so far as a surging number of Lebanese, Syrians, and Palestinians have been trying to flee crisis-hit Lebanon by sea for a better future in Europe. Tens of thousands have lost their jobs while the Lebanese pound has dropped more than 90% in value, eradicating the purchasing power of thousands of families that now live in extreme poverty.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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