Over 74 migrants presumed dead in shipwreck off Libyan coast

By Jerry Omondi & E KBenj

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At least 74 migrants are reported missing and presumed dead following a tragic shipwreck off the Libyan coast on Tuesday, the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Wednesday.

IOM in a statement said the boat was carrying around 80 people at the time of the incident, and was reportedly heading to Europe from Qasr Alkayar.

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“Seven survivors who made it back to shore in extremely dire conditions are currently in the hospital,” the agency said.

“So far 11 bodies have been retrieved by the Libyan red Crescent and the local police.”

Despite efforts by various government and non-state actors to stem the flow of migrants into Europe from North Africa, and with the risks involved in crossings, thousands of people still attempt to make the dangerous journey to cross the Mediterranean, often using dilapidated transport means.

According to IOM, a total of 529 migrants died and 848 others went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route in 2022.

Libya has become a favourite departure point for many migrants seeking to reach Europe, due to the insecurity that has rocked the country since 2011. Human traffickers used the power vacuum to set up bases and routes in the country, some of which remain present.

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