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Over 60 Migrants Dead In Latest Boat Tragedy Off Libya Coast

Libya and Tunisia are principal departure points for migrants risking dangerous sea voyages in hopes of reaching Europe, via Italy.

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Another migrant boat capsize in Aegian Sea leaves 13 dead.(File photo-Representational image)
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At least 61 people were killed after their boat sank off Libya's coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said.

IOM said 61 migrants were missing and presumed dead after their boat sank off Libya's coast, in the latest such tragedy off North Africa.

“The migrants are believed to have died because of high waves which swamped their vessel after it left from Zuwara, on Libya's northwest coast,” AFP reported.

The report quoting survivors said there were approximately 86 migrants aboard -- including women and children -- from Nigeria, the Gambia and other African countries.

Twenty-five people were rescued and transferred to a Libyan detention centre, it said.

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It said the survivors were all in good condition and had received medical support from IOM staff.

Libya and Tunisia are principal departure points for migrants risking dangerous sea voyages in hopes of reaching Europe, via Italy.

More than 153,000 migrants arrived in Italy this year from Tunisia and Libya, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

Italy's far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni won elections last year after vowing to stop illegal migration.

Meloni's hard-right government has so far taken numerous measures to restrict the activities of charity ships that save people attempting the perilous crossing from North Africa.

Her approach to tackling illegal migration won praise from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during a visit to Rome on Saturday.

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The two leaders vowed to stop migrant boat landings on their countries' shores and to step up efforts to combat people smugglers.

The United Nations has described the central Mediterranean migration route as the world's deadliest, claiming hundreds of lives each year.

Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesperson, wrote on social media platform X on Saturday that more than 2,250 people died this year on the central Mediterranean migrant route, a "dramatic figure which demonstrates that unfortunately not enough is being done to save lives at sea".

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