A statement from the agency said survivors coming ashore
Wednesday had reported that another rubber boat was unaccounted-for, likely
raising the toll. The U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman in Italy, Carlotta Sami, said
at least 203 people had been "swallowed up by the waves."
Earlier in the week, the Italian coast guard reported that
at least 29 people had died from hypothermia while travelling from north Africa
to Italy's coast.
UNHCR blasted the new EU-backed rescue patrol as
ineffective for saving lives. The European
Union took over Mediterranean patrols after Italy phased out its
robust Mare Nostrum operation, launched after 360 migrants died in 2013.