Purple Crescent: 8 useless, 58 lacking after shipwreck off Libya


CAIRO — A ship carrying Europe-bound migrants capsized off Libya, killing at the least eight folks, whereas 58 others had been nonetheless lacking, the nation’s Purple Crescent stated Wednesday.

Tawfik al-Shukri, spokesman for the Libyan Purple Crescent, stated the shipwreck passed off Tuesday off the Mediterranean city of Garabulli, round 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital of Tripoli.

The boat was carrying at the least 150 migrants, of whom 84 survived and had been taken to government-run detention facilities for migrants, he stated.

Al-Shukri stated the useless who had been recovered had been all males. He shared photographs purporting to indicate staff in Purple Crescent uniforms packing black physique baggage with the Mediterranean Sea within the background.

Libya has in recent times emerged because the dominant transit level for migrants from Africa and the Center East attempting to make it to Europe. The oil-rich nation plunged into chaos following a NATO-backed rebellion that toppled and killed longtime autocrat Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Tuesday’s shipwreck was the most recent sea tragedy within the central Mediterranean, a key route for migrants.

In 2023, at the least 17 migrants had been reported useless and 18 others lacking off Libya as of Jan. 21, in keeping with the U.N. Worldwide Group for Migration. Greater than 1,100 migrants had been intercepted and returned to Libya this yr, the IOM stated.

Final yr, at the least 529 migrants had been reported useless and 848 others lacking off Libya, whereas over 24,680 had been intercepted and returned to the chaos-hit nation, in keeping with the IOM.

Human traffickers in recent times have benefited from the chaos in Libya, smuggling in migrants throughout the nation’s prolonged borders with six nations. The migrants are then packed into ill-equipped vessels, together with rubber boats, and set off on dangerous sea voyages.

Those that are intercepted and returned to Libya are held in government-run detention facilities rife with abuses, together with pressured labor, beatings, rapes and torture — practices that quantity to crimes towards humanity, in keeping with U.N.-commissioned investigators.

The abuse typically accompanies efforts to extort cash from households earlier than migrants are allowed to depart Libya on traffickers’ boats.

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