Dozens of migrants drown off Libyan coast

(MENAFN- Trend News Agency ) A boat carrying more than 100 illegal immigrants on Saturday drowned off the Libyan western town of Garrabulli, killing 31 migrants, according to a local official, Xinxua reported.

"The Coast Guard patrol spotted a rubber boat carrying more than 100 migrants, 24 miles north of Garrabulli. When the patrol arrived to the wrecked boat, dozens of bodies were scattered next to it," Libyan Coast Guard official Abu-Ajela Ammar told Xinhua.

"Initial information indicates that the boat broke due to overcrowding of migrants," added Ammar, confirming that the bodies of 31 migrants were recovered and about 80 migrants in a poor medical condition were rescued and taken to Tripoli naval base.

"As the Coast Guard patrol was returning after the rescue operation, another rubber boat was spotted with nearly 120 migrants on board," Ammar said.

The total number of migrants rescued on Saturday by the Libya Coast Guard is more than 200, Ammar revealed.

Libyan navy last week rescued 450 illegal African immigrants in two separate operations off the coast of the capital Tripoli.

Due to the insecurity and chaos that followed the 2011 uprising, Libya became a hotspot for migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores, many of who drown on the way.


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