Friday, June 3, 2016

Hundreds of bodies washed up on Libyan beach after migrant boat sinks

The bodies of at least 104 migrants have washed up on a beach in the western Libyan town of Zwara, the navy said on Friday, warning however that the toll could rise.

"The number of bodies retrieved Thursday evening was 104 but the toll is expected to rise since an average boat carries 115-125 passengers," said Libyan navy spokesman Colonel Ayoub Qassem.

The incident comes amid a rescue operation for a separate migrant boat capsize off the Greek island of Crete on Friday, in which at least four people have died and hundreds more are believed missing.

Greek coastguard spokesman Nikos Lagadianos said at least 340 people had been rescued, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the vessel "is believed to have left Africa with at least 700 migrants on board".

It was the second migrant vessel found in that area of the southern Aegean Sea since last week, indicating that people smugglers may be forging a new route to avoid NATO ships.

A coastguard spokeswoman said that a major rescue operation was underway, involving four ships that were passing through the area, in clear but windy conditions about 75 nautical miles south of Crete.

"The number of people in distress could be counted in the hundreds," a spokeswoman for the coastguard said. "People are in the water, boats crossing the area have thrown lifebuoys and are moving to save the migrants."...
 [i24news.tv]
3/6/16
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