13 African migrants die suffocated in a ship container in Libya

Libyan Red Crescent workers recovering bodies of people that washed ashore. (File Photo | AP)

Thirteen African migrants suffocated inside a shipping container while being transported over four days between two Libyan towns, a Red Crescent official said Thursday.

Osama al-Fadly, head of the Red Crescent in Libya, told The Associated Press that the deceased were among 69 migrants, many from Mali, who were packed into the container.

The locked container was transported from the central town of Bani Walid to Khoms in western Libya, from where the migrants were to be taken across the Mediterranean.

Instead, the traffickers unloaded the human cargo near an anti-trafficking force in Khoms on Tuesday. Al-Fadly said the deaths occurred Monday.

Al-Fadly said many of the survivors had their limbs broken when they were thrown out of the container. A 5-year-old girl was among the survivors. Two of the victims are aged 13 and 14, respectively, he said.

On its official Facebook page, the Red Crescent in Khoms posted pictures for the survivors, some of them with their arms in bandages, swollen eyes and bruises.

The bodies of the victims were lined up, covered with bed covers, and then moved to black plastic bags that the Red Crescent marked with names and numbers of those who were identified by fellow migrants.

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