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At least 57 migrants die in shipwreck off Libyan coast -UN

By Reuters | July 27th 2021
A crew member of the German NGO migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 uses binoculars to keep watch for migrant boats in the search and rescue zone in international waters off the coast of Libya. [Reuters]

At least 57 people drowned on Monday after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast near Khums, the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean where more than 1,100 have perished this year, the U.N.'s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Bodies have not been recovered from the shipwreck, but survivors included migrants from Nigeria, Ghana and Gambia, IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli told Reuters.

"According to survivors brought to shore by fishermen and the coast guard, at least 20 women and two children were among those who drowned," she said earlier by tweet.

The migrants, the majority from West Africa, departed from Khums, presumably to reach Europe, Msehli said.

"Despite an increase in arrivals in Europe, there is no crisis of numbers and arrivals remain manageable through better solidarity and improved governance and management of migration," she added.

Migrant boat departures to Italy and other parts of Europe from Libya and Tunisia have increased in recent months with better weather. Hundreds of thousands have made the perilous crossing in the last years, many fleeing conflict and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

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