25 migrants drowned off Libyan coast, hundreds rescued

A Libyan coastguard guards some of 147 migrants rescued attempting to reach Europe on June 27, 2017 (AFP)

At least 25 migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe were found near Tripoli today, the Libyan Red Crescent said.

Some of the corpses were washed ashore on a beach near the Libyan capital, but most were on rocks off the suburb of Tajoura in a state of decomposition, an AFP photographer at the scene said.

The onset of warm weather has seen a surge in migrants boarding boats for the perilous journey across the Mediterranean, putting pressure on rescue services.

Italy’s coastguard said more than 8,000 migrants had been rescued off the coast of Libya in a 48-hour period to today.
Its Libyan counterpart said it had rescued 147 migrants, including 19 women and four children, off the western town of Sabratha this morning.

Most were young people from Cameroon, Sudan, Mali and Senegal, said Libyan navy spokesman General Ayoub Qassem.

They were found crammed aboard a makeshift rubber dinghy, said an AFP cameraman who was on the rescue boat.

The coastguard moved them one by one onto a rescue vessel and then they were taken to Al-Zawiya port.

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