Libya: 87 refugee bodies wash up on beach

Bodies began washing up on the city's beach west of Tripoli on Friday, but more have since been found, official says.

    The number of bodies of refugees recovered on a Libyan beach since the weekend has risen to 87, according to a media official from the coastal city of Sabratha.

    The bodies began washing up on the city's beach west of Tripoli on Friday.

    On Saturday, 41 bodies were found by a group of volunteers trained by the city council and sent to a morgue for DNA testing before being buried.

    The rest were found over the weekend, the official, who did not wish to be identified, said on Monday.

    Irregular migration from Libya booms in the summer months when the Mediterranean Sea is generally calm and traffickers pack unsafe boats with people desperate to start a new life in Europe.

    READ MORE: Amnesty reports horrific refugee abuse stories in Libya

    People smugglers have taken advantage of the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed former leader Muammar Gaddafi to boost their lucrative business.

    They cram refugees into boats that are small and unsafe for the perilous journey to Italy just 300km from Libya's shores.

    Thousands try each year to make the sea crossing but many drown.

    More than 10,000 people bound for Europe, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean since 2014, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 3,034 refugees and migrants have died in the Mediterranean this year.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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