Over 97 immigrants were feared missing after their boat capsized off the Libyan coast near Tripoli on Thursday, the Libya coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem said, according to Reuters.
Qassem told Reuters that 23 migrants were rescued from the craft off Gargaresh, a western suburb of Tripoli. Survivors said the inflatable boat had set off with about 120 people on board.
“Some 97 are still missing, including 15 women and children,” Qassem said. “What happened is that the base of the boat got wrecked and the boat had sunk.” According to Reuters.
Libya is the main departure point for migrants hoping to reach Europe by sea, and more than 150,000 have made the crossing from Libya to Italy in each of the past three years.