Spanish NGO: Libyan coastguards left a woman and a boy to die in the sea

A crew member of NGO Proactiva Open Arms rescue boat embraces African migrant in central Mediterranean Sea, July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Medina

A woman and a boy adrift in the Mediterranean died just hours before help reached their damaged dinghy, Spanish rescuers said, after finding a second woman alive in the vessel, which had been carrying migrants toward Europe, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

A rescue boat operated by the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, with a Reuters photographer aboard, went to help the three migrants, stranded about 80 nautical miles off Libya’s coast, but found two already dead.

Proactiva Open Arms said the three were left helpless after being abandoned by Libyan coast guards. The Libyans had left the scene after the two women refused to board their patrol ship along with a boy of about four, it said.

The Libyan coast guard on Monday stopped a migrant boat with 158 migrants aboard. These included 34 women and nine children, the Libyan Navy Spokesman Ayoub Qassim said. The boat was intercepted off the city of Khoms.

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