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At least 45 immigrants drown in shipwreck off Libya

At least 45 illegal immigrants, including five children, have died in the deadliest shipwreck off Libya this year, the UN refugee agency reported Wednesday.

The immigrants were among more than 80 people on board a vessel whose engine exploded off the coast of Zuwara, the UNHCR said.

The deaths were reported by some 37 survivors rescued by local fishermen, according to a statement by the UNHCR.

Both the UNHCR and International Organization for Migration (IOM) have called for search and rescue efforts for migrants to be stepped up.

They said that without a dedicated search and rescue operation mechanism, more lives would be lost in the Mediterranean.

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