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Rescue NGOs Sea-Eye and the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) carry out a joint rescue operation as some 20 migrants on a rubber dinghy drowned in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Libya, April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

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ROME (Reuters) - Seven migrants died in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya while trying to reach Europe on Sunday, an official of a rescue ship said.

Reuters had earlier erroneously reported that 20 people had died.

Chris Catrambone, co-founder of the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), said "the discrepancy was due to confusion" in communication between two ships involved in the rescue operation.

Rescue ships took on thousands of survivors from dinghies in deteriorating weather between Friday and Sunday.

(Story corrects number confirmed dead.)

(Reporting by Darrin Zammit Lupi; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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