24 people are presumed dead after a boat carrying migrants capsized near Libya, the U.N. Migration Agency said Tuesday according to the Associated Press.
Libya’s coast guard found that one of 3 boats that were intercepted Monday had capsized, Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), told the Associated Press. The coast guard recovered 2 bodies, while 22 others are missing and presumed dead, she said. (RELATED: A Group Of Migrants Was Rescued At Sea. Now, They Refuse To Leave The Ship — Here’s Why)
At least 24 people drown or are missing and presumed dead after a boat carrying migrants bound for Europe capsizes in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya. https://t.co/U5x7WlKOVP
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 15, 2020
At least 45 migrants, all of whom were men, were returned to the shore and taken to a detention center in Libya’s capital, Tripoli. Most of the migrants were from Egypt or Morocco, Msehli added.
Last year, more than 350 migrants died while trying to make their way to Europe, Msehli said according to the report. 45 people were missing and presumed dead in a shipwreck in August, the largest number of fatalities ever recorded in a single shipwreck near the North African coast.
“This new tragedy signals yet again the need for increased search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean,” Msehli said. “Instead, we are seeing restrictions on NGOs and long, unnecessary stand-offs.”
Libya became a major transit point for migrants following the 2011 uprising that killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi, the Associated Press reported. The European Union has worked with the coast guard and Libyan authorities to try and stop the migrants and has intercepted thousands of people.