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Libya: 115 migrants missing in boat wreck off Libyan coast

26th Jul 2019
Libya: 115 migrants missing in boat wreck off Libyan coast

By Walid Abdullah

 

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA): Some 115 irregular migrants are missing after a boat wreck off Libya’s western coast, the navy of the country’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) said Thursday.

Some 250 irregular migrants were aboard when the boat capsized, the navy said in a statement.

Some 134 migrants were rescued and a body was recovered, it added.

Fishermen present at the site rescued the victims in coordination with the Libyan Coast Guard.

The boat sank off the city of Al-Khoms, 5 miles from the coast.

The Libyan navy said most of the migrants rescued were Eritrean nationals along with some Palestinians and Somalis.

Earlier Thursday, a UN official said that reportedly 150 people had been rescued and 150 had died at sea off the coast of Libya after a shipwreck.

Thousands of irregular migrants use Libya as a gateway to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year in overcrowded boats often dying in the process.

Since the mid-2017 the number has declined after Italy introduced a policy to return migrants to Libya if found at sea.

The policy has drawn condemnation of human rights activist as Libya has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving leader Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

Since then, the country has seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which Haftar is affiliated, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN recognition.

[Map of Libya by Asav/Creative Commons]

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