The Italian Coastguard says at least 13 African migrants drowned just off the coast of Sicily on Monday after a boat, carrying more than 150 people, ran aground in the surf.
The BBC reports the vessel was packed with people from Eritrea in north-east Africa.
Television pictures showed the bodies wrapped in white sheets lying on the beach at Sampieri, on the southeastern coast of Sicily.
Thousands of migrants have arrived in southern Italy this (northern) summer from the civil war in Syria, in addition to the boats from North Africa.
Most arrive in the island of Lampedusa, off the southern coast but others have reached the southeastern shores of Sicily.