22 people were rescued from the sea and taken to land.
The smugglers’ boat overturned as a patrol boat was preparing to take migrants on board in rough seas about six miles off Lampedusa just after midnight.
Italian coast guard helicopters and vessels were searching for more of the missing. The UN refugee agency said the deadly shipwreck “highlights once again that urgent action is needed to address the situation on the Mediterranean.”
UNHCR spokesman called for the European Union to resume its search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Sea, where more than 1,000 migrants have died so far this year, most of them on the dangerous crossing from Libya.