At least 73 migrants presumed dead after shipwreck off Libya: IOM

Only seven survivors made it back to shore after the boat sank

Migrants rescued by Libyan Coast Guards in the Mediterranean Sea arrive in Garaboli on May 23, 2022. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

At least 73 migrants were reported missing and presumed dead following a shipwreck off Libya, the International Organisation for Migration in Libya said on Wednesday.

The boat, carrying about 80 people, reportedly departed from Qasr Alkayar on Tuesday heading to Europe, the IOM said on Twitter.

Only seven survivors made it back to shore from the boat in extremely dire conditions, and are currently in hospital, it added.

So far, 11 bodies have been retrieved by the Libyan Red Crescent and the local police, it said.

Libya has emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

Human traffickers have benefited from the chaos in Libya, smuggling migrants across the country’s lengthy borders with six nations. The migrants are then packed into ill-equipped flimsy boats and set off on risky sea voyages.

Updated: February 15, 2023, 11:53 AM