Scores drown off Libya’s shores as migrants’ boats sink

Reuters reported that at least 57 bodies were washed ashore after two immigrant boats sank in the Mediterranean off different towns in western Libya, according to a coast guard officer and an aid worker on Tuesday.

The report said that a survivor, Bassam Mahmoud from Egypt, said there were about 80 immigrants on one of the boats that set off for Europe at around 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

He said that there was an argument as the boat was sinking but the man in charge refused to stop, adding that they kept fighting until someone caught up with them.

Reuters reported coast guard officer Fathi al-Zayani as saying that 11 bodies, including that of a child, were recovered off Garabulli in eastern Tripoli. The immigrants were from Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, and Egypt, he said.

A Red Crescent aid worker in Sabratha in western Tripoli said they had recovered 46 bodies in the past six days from the beach and they were all “illegal immigrants” from one boat.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said this month that 441 immigrants and refugees drowned in early 2023 while attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe, the most deaths in the past six years over a three-month period.


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