Num­ber of mi­grant bod­ies found on Libyan coast rises to 133

The Jerusalem Post - - REGIONAL NEWS -

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The bod­ies of 133 mi­grants have washed up on the shore at the western Libyan city of Zuwara in re­cent days, the Red Cres­cent said on Sun­day.

Al-Khamis al-Bo­saifi, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s spokesman, said that about three-quar­ters of the mi­grants were women and that there were at least five chil­dren.

No doc­u­ments were found with the bod­ies, which were partly de­com­posed, but they were mainly sub-Sa­ha­ran Africans, he said.

A lo­cal security of­fi­cial said the mi­grants were thought to have set off from the nearby city of Sabratha, where a surge in boat de­par­tures led to hun­dreds of mi­grant deaths last week.

Mi­grants hop­ing to reach Italy from Libya pay hun­dreds of dol­lars to traf­fick­ers for a place in a boat. The ves­sels are of­ten flimsy and ill-equipped for the jour­ney across the Mediter­ranean.

The cross­ing is far more dan­ger­ous than that be­tween Turkey and Greece, which was the busiest sea route un­til a deal to curb flows be­tween the Euro­pean Union and Turkey came into force in March.

So far this year more than 40,000 mi­grants have ar­rived in Italy af­ter cross­ing the cen­tral Mediter­ranean, many flee­ing poverty, re­pres­sion and con­flict in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. More than 2,000 have died try­ing to make the cross­ing.

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