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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeWorldLibya: At least eight dead in shipwreck carrying migrants

Libya: At least eight dead in shipwreck carrying migrants

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According to the Red Crescent, which is managing search and rescue operations, eyewitnesses to the wreck said nearly 150 people had piled onto the boat in the hope of reaching Italy.

At least eight people died when a boat carrying dozens of African migrants capsized off the coast of Libya, the local Red Crescent said today, adding that nearly 100 others were rescued.

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The bodies washed ashore near the Libyan town of Castelverde 40km east of Tripoli after the boat sank on Tuesday, adding to the growing number of shipwrecks that have killed dozens of migrants in the Mediterranean over the past year.

The number of migrants and refugees seeking to reach Europe in search of a safer and better life has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, although it remains below the levels of 2014-2015, humanitarian groups say.

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According to the Red Crescent, which is managing search and rescue operations, eyewitnesses to the wreck said nearly 150 people had piled onto the boat in the hope of reaching Italy.

Today, Red Crescent workers wearing protective suits placed drowned bodies in plastic bags.

Libya is an important starting point for people seeking to reach Europe because of its proximity to Italy and its own porous borders.

However, mired since 2011 in its own conflict, and with most of the country controlled by armed factions, Libya is also a dangerous place for migrants and refugees.

Many are held in detention centers where some report ill-treatment, including neglect, abuse and exploitation.

RES-EMP

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