Up to 70 migrants killed as boat capsizes in Mediterranean Sea – National

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As many as 70 migrants attempting to achieve Europe from Libya drowned Friday when their boat capsized within the Mediterranean Sea, and a minimum of 16 others on the boat have been rescued, in accordance with U.N. migration officers and Tunisia’s state information company.

The Worldwide Group for Migration referred to as it the deadliest migrant boat sinking since January, and it comes as general migrant arrivals to Europe are reducing.

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The smuggling boat was coming from Libya when it despatched a misery sign in worldwide waters early Friday off the Tunisian coastal metropolis of Sfax, in accordance with an IOM official in Tunisia. She stated between 60 and 70 folks drowned.

Tunisia’s state information company TAP stated 70 folks drowned because the boat sank and that fishing boats rescued 16 others.

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The survivors of the sinking at the moment are being questioned and cared for by Tunisian authorities, the IOM official stated. She stated they included folks from Bangladesh and Morocco, amongst different nationalities.

Joel Millman, an IOM spokesman in Geneva, stated the reported demise toll is the most important variety of migrants killed since a Jan. 19 sinking during which 117 folks have been reported lacking and presumed useless.

To date this yr, 17,000 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea, about 30 per cent fewer than the 24,000 arriving throughout the identical interval final yr, in accordance with the IOM. It stated 443 folks have reportedly died on harmful Mediterranean Sea crossings to date this yr, in comparison with 620 deaths for a similar interval in 2018.

Libya’s navy stated Friday it rescued 213 Europe-bound African and Arab migrants off the Mediterranean coast this week. It stated they have been handed over to Libyan police after having obtained humanitarian and medical help.

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Lawless Libya in North Africa grew to become a serious conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after an rebellion toppled and killed longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011. Libyan authorities have stepped up efforts to stem the circulation of migrants, with European help.

However human rights teams have strongly criticized Libya for its detention centres, saying migrants being despatched again to Libya confronted starvation, beatings, torture, rapes and a scarcity of medical care.

As well as, the top of the self-styled Libyan Nationwide Military launched an offensive towards the federal government within the Libyan capital of Tripoli final month. The U.N. well being company says 443 folks have died, 2,110 have been wounded and practically 60,000 have been displaced by the violence.

Angela Charlton in Paris and David Rising in Berlin contributed.

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