Sunday 17 December 2023 - 09:08

Scores of Asylum Seekers Drown After Shipwreck Off Libya

Story Code : 1103143
Scores of Asylum Seekers Drown After Shipwreck Off Libya
The organization’s Libya office early on Sunday quoted survivors as saying the boat was carrying about 86 people.

A “large number of migrants” are believed to have died because of high waves, which swamped their vessel after it left from Zuwara, on Libya’s northwest coast, the IOM’s Libya office said in a statement.

Libya and Tunisia are principal departure points for refugees and asylum seekers risking dangerous sea voyages in hopes of reaching Europe, via Italy.

In the latest incident, most of the victims –who included women and children– were from Nigeria, Gambia and other African countries, the IOM office said, adding that nearly 25 people were rescued and transferred to a Libyan detention center.

An IOM team “provided medical support” and the survivors are all in good condition, the organization said.

On June 14 this year, the Adriana, a fishing boat loaded with 750 people en route from Libya to Italy, went down in international waters off southwest Greece, Al Jazeera reported.

According to survivors, the ship was carrying mainly Syrians, Pakistanis and Egyptians. Only 104 survived and 82 bodies were recovered.

More than 153,000 refugees and asylum seekers arrived in Italy this year from Tunisia and Libya, according to the United Nations refugee agency.