5 dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya

5 dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya
Migrants arrive at a naval base after they were rescued by Libyan coastal guards in Tripoli, Libya, on November 6, 2017. (REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny)
Updated 07 November 2017

5 dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya

5 dead after migrant boat sinks off Libya

TRIPOLI: At least five migrants died and an unknown number were feared missing after their boat capsized off western Libya on Monday, Libyan coast guard officials and a charity said.
The rubber boat was carrying about 140 people when it overturned close to the border between Libyan and international waters, Libyan officials said. The Libyan coast guard rescued 45 survivors and brought them back to Tripoli harbor.
Seawatch, a German non-governmental organization that has a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean, said at least five migrants had died including a toddler. Seawatch rescued 58 people, the group said in a statement.
The survivors brought to Tripoli were from West African countries including Nigeria and Senegal.
On Sunday, the UN refugee agency said the bodies of 26 female migrants who apparently drowned have arrived at the Italian port of Salerno as rescues intensified on the Mediterranean Sea.
The bodies were transferred to the Italian mainland aboard a Spanish naval ship carrying another 400 migrants rescued during four operations in the central Mediterranean.
Twenty-three of the dead women were on a rubber dinghy that sank off Libya two days ago, Marco Rotunno, a spokesman in Italy for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman, said. Another 60 people were pulled to safety, but more may have perished at sea, Rotunno said. The other three women died in a separate shipwreck.
Humanitarian groups say some 2,500 migrants were picked up at sea in recent days, making it the most intense period for rescues on the Mediterranean since Italy reached a deal with Libya this summer to slow departures of smugglers’ boats carrying migrants.
The number of migrants arriving in Italy so far this year is 30 percent lower than last year, 111,716 through Friday compared to nearly 160,000 in the same period of 2016, according to Interior Ministry figures.
The UN’s International Organization for Migration put the number of dead in the center Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy at over 2,600 through Nov. 1.