International

Over 60 Dead As Migrant Boat Capsizes Off Libyan Coast

Over 60 lives were lost as a migrant boat capsized off the coast of Libya, highlighting the ongoing perils faced by individuals seeking refuge in Europe through the perilous central Mediterranean route.

Another migrant boat capsize in Aegian Sea leaves 13 dead.(File photo-Representational image)
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A tragic incident unfolded off the coast of Libya as a boat carrying over 60 migrants, including women and children, capsized in the treacherous central Mediterranean, according to the UN migration agency. The shipwreck occurred overnight between Thursday and Friday near the town of Zuwara on Libya's western coast, highlighting the continued perils faced by those seeking a better life in Europe. The boat, carrying 86 migrants, was overwhelmed by strong waves, leading to the drowning of 61 individuals, as reported by survivors, as reported by AP. 

The UN's International Organisation for Migration, addressing the incident on the notorious migration route, emphasized the persistent dangers of the central Mediterranean. European Union's border agency, Frontex, located the partially deflated rubber boat in Libya's search and rescue zone, citing severe weather conditions with waves reaching heights of 2.5 meters.

Disturbingly, a hotline for migrants in distress, Alarm Phone, revealed that migrants onboard had sought help, but the Libyan coastguard, when alerted, refused to initiate a search. The Libyan coast guard's response raises concerns about the challenges in ensuring the safety of those attempting perilous sea journeys.

Libya has become a major transit point for migrants despite the country's internal chaos following the 2011 NATO-backed uprising. Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesperson, reported over 2,250 deaths on the central European route in the current year, underscoring the urgent need for enhanced efforts to prevent loss of life at sea.

The IOM's missing migrants project disclosed distressing statistics, with 940 reported dead and 1,248 missing off Libya between January and November. Additionally, over 14,900 migrants, including women and children, were intercepted and returned to Libya this year, highlighting the challenges faced by those attempting the perilous journey.

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