UN agency: 75 migrants drown in the Mediterranean off Libya


ROME – The United Nations migration agency said 75 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya earlier this week as they tried to reach Italy by boat.

The International Organization for Migration reported the latest tragedy in a tweet on Saturday, attributing the information to 15 survivors who were rescued by fishermen and brought to the port of Zuwara in northwest Libya. He did not immediately provide further information.

Also on Saturday, the Italian coast guard rescued more than 420 migrants, including dozens of minors, on board boats in difficulty in the Mediterranean Sea,

A Coast Guard statement said 70 people were taken safely by one of its motorboats to the small Italian island of Lampedusa, south of Sicily.

Meanwhile, another coastguard vessel headed for the port of Porto Empedocle on Saturday evening in Sicily with more than 350 migrants on board after being sheltered from the sinking of a fishing boat at 70 miles (115 kilometers) from the Sicilian coast, according to the statement. noted. Among them were more than 40 minors.

This fishing boat “was in danger, due to bad weather conditions at sea and the high number of people on board,” the coast guard said. After being rescued by two motorboats, they were transferred to a larger Coast Guard vessel.

The statement called the rescue of more migrants “complex.” Four cargo ships in the area have been commissioned to “mitigate the impact of the wind” on the rescue operation, he said, allowing the migrants to be rescued safely.

Every year, thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia attempt the deadly crossing from the Mediterranean to Europe on overcrowded and often in poor condition. More than 1,300 men, women and children have died so far in 2021 trying to cross the central Mediterranean from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta, according to IOM.


Follow all of AP’s stories on global migration at https://apnews.com/hub/migration.


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