The bodies of at least 27 migrants bound for Europe have made landfall in western Libyasaid the country’s Red Crescent, the latest tragedy on the world’s deadliest migration route.
The bodies of the migrants, including a baby and two women, were found Saturday night at two separate locations in the coastal city of Khoms, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from Tripoli, the Red Crescent branch said. there. Three other migrants were rescued and search efforts were underway for others, he said.
“The advanced state of decomposition of the bodies indicates that the shipwreck occurred several days ago,” a security official told AFP news agency, adding that the number of victims could increase.
Dead migrants line up on Libyan coast
AmericanPost.News reports that, images released by Libyan media showed corpses lined up along the shoreline and then placed in body bags.
The dead migrants likely drowned in recent shipwrecks off Libya, a key starting point for African and Asian migrants desperately trying to reach Europe.
Some 1,500 migrants have drowned in numerous boat accidents and shipwrecks along the central Mediterranean route this year, according to the UN migration agency. In October, Libya detained 4,000 people in a major offensive against immigrants.
Migrant boats join frequently
Migrants often endure dire conditions in Libya before embarking north on overcrowded, often unsafe, vessels that frequently sink or get into trouble.
The latest tragedy comes days after more than 160 migrants died off the coast of Libya in similar incidents, bringing the total number of lives lost this year to 1,500, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM says more than 30,000 migrants have been intercepted in the same period and returned to Libya.
The European Union has cooperated closely with the Libyan Coast Guard to reduce the number of migrants arriving on European shores. Upon their return, many face further horrific abuse in detention centers.
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