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90 migrants fear dead off Libya

02 February 2018,Friday, 20:46



Geneva, Feb 2, IANS

At least 90 migrants, mostly Pakistanis, were feared to have drowned on Friday after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast, the UN's migration agency said.

According to Olivia Headon from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 10 bodies washed up on the shores of Libya and two survivors managed to swim to safety while another was rescued by a fishing boat.

The survivors said most of those who drowned were Pakistani nationals, the BBC reported. They told the IOM that the boat sank off the coast of the northwestern city of Zuwara for unknown reasons.

The number of Pakistani people trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe has grown considerably in the last few months, said Headon.

In January, 240 Pakistani nationals attempted the journey. In the same month last year there were only nine.

At least 6,624 people have arrived in Europe through Mediterranean routes so far this year and another 246 have died attempting the crossing last month, according to IOM figures.

 

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