172 migrants drown off Libyan coast after boat capsizes

The shipwreck was the latest along the Central Mediterranean migration route, where about 350 migrants have died this year. [Photo: AP]

According to the United Nations (UN), 172 migrants are believed to have drowned off the Libyan coast in the past few days.

This came in a tweet by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Thursday, in which it referred to receiving reports about migrant boats that sank in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast.

Reports confirmed that the second boat carrying 130 migrants had sunk, stating that French non-governmental organisation SOS Méditerranée found tens of bodies.

As for the third rubber boat carrying 40 migrants, IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli at a UN news conference confirmed that it is missing and that efforts to locate it are ongoing.

The IOM official revealed that she believes 172 migrants have lost their lives in the past few days, while accusing countries of failing to respond to the distress calls from the immigrants.

Msehli confirmed that the death toll in the Mediterranean alone rose to 500 people, almost three times as many recorded fatalities as last year.

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