• Friday, Oct 23, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:18 am

3 migrants dead, 13 missing in shipwreck off Libya coast

  • Published at 08:51 pm September 25th, 2020
File photo: Surviving migrants are brought aboard Irish and Italian Navy life-boats in the area where their wooden boat capsized and sank off the coast of Libya on August 5, 2015 Reuters

Twenty-two survivors were rescued late Thursday off the west coast, the IOM said on its Twitter account

The International Organization for Migration said on Friday the bodies of three migrants whose boat went down off Libya were recovered from the Mediterranean but at least 13 others were missing.

Twenty-two survivors were rescued late Thursday off the west coast, the IOM said on its Twitter account.

"At least 13 lives are lost at sea and three bodies retrieved after a tragic shipwreck occurred off the coast of #Libya last night," it said.

"IOM staff are now providing medical assistance to 22 survivors brought to shore by fishing vessels," the IOM said, without giving their nationalities.

Libya has become a key route for irregular migration to Europe in the chaotic years since the 2011 overthrow and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in a Nato-backed uprising.

The IOM report comes a day after Amnesty International urged the European Union to reconsider cooperation with Libya over "horrific abuses" of refugees and migrants in the North African country.

The EU has backed a controversial agreement for Italy to finance and train the Libyan coastguard to prevent crossings. 

More than 100,000 migrants tried to cross the Mediterranean last year with more than 1,200 dying in the attempt, according to the IOM.

On Sunday, Libya's Red Crescent retrieved the bodies of 22 migrants off the western coastal town of Zwara.

More than 300 migrants and refugees have perished so far this year off Libya's coast, according to the IOM and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

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