| 26 February 2024, Monday |

UN: Over 60 drown in migrant vessel off Libya

A boat carrying dozens of migrants heading to Europe capsized off the coast of Libya, killing more than 60 people, including women and children, according to the UN migration agency.

The shipwreck on Saturday was the latest tragedy in this part of the Mediterranean Sea, a key dangerous route for migrants seeking a better life in Europe, where thousands have died, according to officials.

The UN’s International Organization for Migration said in a statement the boat was carrying 86 migrants when strong waves swamped it off the town of Zuwara on Libya’s western coast and that 61 migrants drowned, citing survivors of the “dramatic shipwreck.”

“The central Mediterranean continues to be one of the world’s most dangerous migration routes,” the agency wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Libya has in recent years emerged as the dominant transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East.

The country is a major launching point for migrants trying to reach the European shores through the deadly central Mediterranean. More than 2,250 people died on this route this year, according to Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesperson.

It’s “a dramatic figure which demonstrates that unfortunately not enough is being done to save lives at sea,” Di Giacomo wrote on X.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat