At least 73 migrants presumed dead in shipwreck off Libya: UN

AP , Wednesday 15 Feb 2023

At least 73 Europe-bound migrants are missing and presumed dead in a shipwreck off Libya, the United Nations migration agency said Wednesday.

File photo: A wooden boat with 28 refugees from Africa and Magreb is rescued by Open Arms NGO, some 45 nautical miles away from the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea, March 5, 2022. AP


The U.N. International Organization for Migration said in a statement that the wreck took place Tuesday and that Libya authorities have retrieved at least 11 bodies.

It said the boat, carrying around 80 migrants, reportedly departed the village of Qasr al-Khayar, 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli. The migrants were heading to European shores, it said.

Seven migrants survived the shipwreck and made it to Libyan shores, the U.N. said, in ``extremely dire conditions.'' They were taken to a hospital.

Tuesday's shipwreck was the latest sea tragedy in the central Mediterranean, a key route for migrants. The tragedy took the death tally on that route to at least 130 migrants this year, IOM said.

Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to make it to Europe. The oil-rich country plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

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