75 migrants drowned off coasts of Libya

(Agencies): At least 75 migrants drowned off the coasts of Libya as they attempted to reach Italy by boat., the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Saturday.

“Over 75 migrants drowned on Wednesday (Nov. 17) after departing from Libya, according to 15 survivors rescued by fishermen and brought to (the coastal Libyan city of) Zwara,” the UN agency said on Twitter.

“This latest tragedy brings the number of lives lost in the Central Mediterranean this year to over 1,300,” it added.

Meanwhile on the same day, the Italian Coast Guard rescued more than 420 migrants, including dozens of minors, from boats in difficulty in the Mediterranean Sea.

Each year, thousands of migrants and refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia attempt the deadly Mediterranean sea crossing to Europe on overcrowded and often unseaworthy boats

Libya has become a vital transit hub for irregular migrants attempting to reach Europe in order to flee poverty and conflict in their native countries.

[Photo: Nigerian irregular migrants are returning to their home countries from Misrata Airport as part of Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme arranged by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Misrata, Libya on November 03, 2021. Photographer: Hazem Turkia/AA]

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