Over 100 bodies recovered off Libya coast

libya-refugees-bodiesThe bodies of more than 100 refugees have been recovered in the Mediterranean Sea after a boat capsized off the coast of Libya.

Colonel Ayoub Gassim said the corpses were pulled from the water near the western city of Zuwara but that the expected death toll from the disaster is likely to be higher.

Libyan coast guards found the vessel on Thursday but believe it may have capsized the previous day with an unknown number of people on board.

At least 85 bodies were found washed up on Zuwara’s sandy beaches on Thursday but it was unclear whether they were from the same disaster or other sinkings.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Col Gassim blamed Europe for “doing nothing but counting bodies” to stop migration from Libya.

The country is a common launching point for smugglers sending migrant ships towards Italy, normally leaving them to drift before being picked up by rescue ships.

Friday’s disaster came as rescue operations continued after a separate sinking off the coast of Crete, where at least four bodies had been recovered and more than 300 people rescued.

Hundreds of asylum seekers have drowned in successive disasters in the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks amid concerns that the EU-Turkey deal seeing migrants detained on Greek islands is forcing desperate migrants to take longer and more treacherous journeys.

The vast majority of arrivals are now landing in Italy after crossing the Central Mediterranean from North Africa. (Courtesy The Independent)

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