|Maltese authorities have launched naval missions to find and rescue migrants in trouble|
Two Palestinian survivors told the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) that the boat had been intentionally sunk by traffickers.
They said the boat had left Damietta in Egypt in early September.
The IOM says that more than 2,500 people are now believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean this year.
News of the sinking near Malta emerged as another vessel carrying 250 people sank off the coast of Libya.
Over 200 people are feared to have drowned in that incident. Is it possible they are talking about the same sinking? See map below.
IOM spokeswoman Christiane Berthiaume said that the two survivors from the Malta sinking were rescued on Thursday, the day after their boat sank.
They said traffickers rammed the boat after a "violent confrontation" on board. The IOM said there were nine known survivors in total.
The boat had been carrying Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Sudanese, the survivors said.
Major migrant boat tragedies:
March 2009: More than 200 African migrants drown after their boat sank off the coast of Libya
October 2013: 366 people, mostly Eritrean, die when their boat catches fire and sinks near Lampedusa
August 2014: Around 170 feared dead after another boat sinks off Libya
|Map showing approximate location of ship sinking|
The Maltese authorities have not yet commented on the incident.
The UN says more than 130,000 migrants have arrived in Europe by sea this year, compared with 80,000 last year. Italy has received more than 118,000 migrants, the UN said.
Many attempt to cross from North Africa and the Middle East in unsafe and overcrowded vessels.
The UN's Andrej Mahecic told the BBC that more than half of those arriving by boat were refugees from Syria and Eritrea.
Eritreans and Somalians who attempt the journey to Europe have first the difficult task of crossing the Sahara Desert. Samson Kidane was one such refugee: "I still can't believe it when I think about the Sahara," said Samson Kidane, an Eritrean who is now a refugee in Switzerland.
"It was so difficult to cross. We were more than 30 people in a small automobile, and later we were in a container, more than 120 people for 24 hours."
Eritrea has forced military conscription for an unlimited time period. Everyone must join the military without knowing when, or if, they will be able to get out.
After crossing the Sahara, which cost each man more than $1,000 (£621; 735 euros), he and his friends had to find what he calls a "businessman" to get them across the Mediterranean.
"If you pay the money for the journey, the businessman sometimes disappears with the money," he said.
In the end his trafficker took another $1,200 from each member of the group, and organised five small boats, each carrying around 30 people.
After 53 hours at sea, Mr Kidane arrived in Italy. But only two boats arrived. Three had sunk, one of them carrying his best friend.
Until June of this year, Switzerland accepted avoidance of Eritrea's military service as a valid reason for claiming asylum, and the country now has one of Europe's biggest communities of Eritrean refugees.
But Switzerland, like many European countries, no longer allows applications for asylum to be made at its embassies abroad, meaning that anyone wanting to make a claim must make their way, somehow, to Switzerland.
Human rights groups suggest Europe's asylum policies are a contributory factor to the regular boat tragedies in the Mediterranean.
They are right, of course, but the problem is much more complex than that. European countries (mostly Christian in name, at least, if not in practice) are receiving so many immigrants from Africa and Asia, most of whom are Islamic, that the whole culture of the countries are rapidly changing.
Who would have thought that you would have Muslim spires and the call to prayer ringing out in France or Holland even 50 years ago? France now has between 5 &10% Muslim population. The French heritage population is declining rapidly from lack of births as people choose to have smaller families, or no children at all. Meanwhile, the Muslims average about 8 children per family, consequently they are becoming a larger and larger portion of the population everyday.
Some towns and cities have more Muslims than any other demographic and so are able to elect Muslims to positions in local governments. Many people believe that within 2 generations France will be almost completely Muslim. At that point they can introduce Sharia, if not sooner.
What's happening in France is also happening in most other countries in Europe, though they are a generation or two behind France. While the good news is that most French Muslims don't actually practice their faith, you can be certain that the day will come when an alBaghdadi or Aubakar Shekau will emerge and suddenly they will find their faith, one way or another. Then all will be required to convert to Islam, leave France, or die. Can you imagine France without Frenchmen?
This is why Marine Le Pen is doing so well, because people are actually beginning to understand this. Left-leaning people cannot see it. Sweden just elected a left-wing government, so it's likely they will continue to receive Muslim immigrants for the next four years. At some point in the near future all of Europe will be electing right-wing governments hoping they can clean up the mess that the lefties made of their country, but it will be too late then. I hate to think of what will happen when they try.
So what's the solution? Russia and Germany (I think) require all immigrants to learn Russian, or German. Will that make a difference? Most EU countries have already begun to cut back on immigration, at least a little, but that won't slow the desperate attempts of Africans and Asians trying to get to Europe.
The solution lies in the source of the problems. Many countries in Africa or Asia are so pathetically poor that people are selling their children because they can't afford to feed them, selling them as young as 4 years old to pimps. Why is that happening? Because the countries that have the money to help the economies of these third world countries are spending it on war or entertainment and are completely ignoring the plight of the desperately poor.
Industrialized countries have economically raped the third world and we have the responsibility to help them to recover. But, instead, you have financial pedophiles with their hedge funds driving countries like Argentina into bankruptcy with the help of the US courts.
Multinational companies need to look beyond their short-sighted greed and invest in the third world. It will pay off in the long-term and will help stabilize politically volatile countries. Maybe then people will want to stay home.