At least 31 migrants died after their boat sank off Libya’s western coast on Saturday and some 200 others were picked up by the coastguard to be brought back to port in Tripoli, officials said.
The migrants were on two boats off the coast near Garabulli, east of Tripoli, one of which had already sunk when the coastguard arrived at the scene, said Abu Ajala Amer Abdelbari, a coast guard commander.
“The boat had sunk and they were spread out in the sea, they were trying to swim towards the coast,” he said. “There were about 60 people who we were able to save because they were clinging to the [remains of the] boat.” Another 140 migrants were picked up from the second boat, he said.
The dead, including a number of children, were brought back to Tripoli naval base where they were unloaded in white plastic body bags.
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