Migrant boat carrying 600 people capsizes off coast of Egypt

Egyptian authorities told Reuters 29 bodies had been found

Migrant boat carrying 600 people capsizes off coast of Egypt

File photo. Image: Lefteris Pitarakis / AP/Press Association Images

A boat carrying around 600 refugees and migrants has capsized off the coast of Egypt, officials have said.

Egyptian authorities told Reuters 29 bodies had been found during ongoing searches, while some 150 people are thought to have been rescued. 

The incident happened near the Mediterranean port city of Rosetta, police said.

It comes months after the head of the EU's border agency warned that growing numbers of Europe-bound refugees & migrants were turning to Egypt as a departure point for the perilous journey.

Smugglers often overload unseaworthy boats with passengers who have paid for the journey. 

More than 10,000 people have died crossing the Mediterranean to Europe since 2014, according to the UN.

With the closure of the Balkans route popular with migrants seeking to reach northern European countries, as well as an EU deal with Turkey to halt departures, asylum seekers have been turning to other options.