Wednesday, 08 December 2021 03:18 GMT

19 decomposed bodies of Egyptian migrants found in Libya desert


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Benghazi, Libya: The decomposed bodies of 19 Egyptian migrants were found in the Libyan desert overnight after the truck in which they were smuggled into the country overturned, the Red Crescent said Sunday.

The bodies were buried in a cemetery near the Libyan border town of Tobruk, the organisation said.

It was unclear when the Egyptians died but their bodies were in a state of decomposition when found in a desert area near Tobruk in Libya's remote east.

Meanwhile a security official in Tobruk said a search was underway for a group of 29 other Egyptians reported missing by authorities in their country.

Since the 2011 overthrow of Moamer Kadhafi, Libya has been riven by chaos, making it the main gateway for African migrants heading for Europe on dangerous Mediterranean crossings.

Human traffickers have exploited the instability to boost their lucrative but deadly trade.

Egyptians have travelled to Libya for decades, to look for jobs in the oil-rich North African country or to use it as a transit route to Europe.

Since January 100,000 migrants have made the perilous sea journey to Europe, around 85,000 of them arriving in Italy from Libya, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The United Nations says more than 2,200 migrants have died this year attempting to make the crossing.

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