At least 40 die after migrant boat sinks off Libya

A boat carrying migrants, including men, women and children, off the coast of Libya earlier this year Photo: EPA
At least 40 people died and 51 others were rescued after a boat carrying mostly sub-Saharan African migrants sank off Libya\’s coast east of Tripoli, the Libyan government said on Sunday.
"The Libyan Navy says at least 74 migrants are still missing, after 20 bodies were recovered on Sunday following Friday\’s shipwreck."
But the AFP news agency quoted a naval official as saying the boat carrying 130 migrants sank on Tuesday.
The boat capsized off Garabulli, 50km east of the Libyan capital Tripoli and was reported to have been en-route to Europe.
On Saturday, Interior Minister Saleh Maziq threatened to help illegal migrants reach Europe if the European Union did not do more to help Libya deal with a flood of migrants using Libya as a transit point.
Libya\’s porous borders with its sub-Saharan neighbours and its proximity to Italy and Malta across the Mediterranean have made the North African country a common transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe.
The Libyan government has since issued a statement saying that it would continue to co-operate with all partners in order to stop illegal immigration.
Libya has been plagued by instability since armed groups toppled Muammar Gaddafi\’s regime in 2011.
Source: Agencies
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