11 migrants dead, 263 rescued off Libya coast: navy

TRIPOLI- The navy said that 11 migrants had died at sea and 263 rescued at sea on Sunday in two separate operations.

The navy’s spokesperson General Ayoub Kacem told AFP that the first operation was, “a coastguard patrol… was able to rescue 83 illegal migrants and recovered 11 bodies in a rubber boat five nautical miles northeast of Sabratha”

The area Sabratha is 70km west of Tripoli.

Mohamad Erhouma, a member of the nearby city of Zawiyah’s coastguard said, “The 11 dead migrants drowned when the dinghy overturned but were recovered by the survivors and hoisted into the boat,”

According to General Kacem the second operation took place off the coast Zliten east of the country, two rescue boats rescued 180 migrants.

The migrants where from across Africa, he added, “were aboard two inflatable boats when they were intercepted and then brought back to the port of Tripoli.”

Libya since the fall of leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, it has become a hub of for migrants to leave Africa bound for Europe.

In 2017 3116 people died after attempting to cross the border, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the numbers included 2 833 from Libya.

Photo Credit- The Japan Times




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