239 migrants feared dead as boats capsized off Libyan coast


At least 239 illegal migrants died when their two boats capsized off the coast of Libya, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

According to the Libyan News Agency (LANA), a UNHCR spokeswoman in Italy, Carlotta Sami, said 31 survivors of the two capsized boats arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa.

She added that the survivors had reported that the rubber dinghies they were traveling in had capsized on Wednesday in heavy seas shortly after leaving Libya.

Meanwhile, Leonard Doyle, chief spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said the latest wrecks meant that 4,220 lives had now been lost in the Mediterranean so far this year – the highest toll on record.

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