Dozens of migrants are believed to have died in a shipwreck off Libya, with only seven survivors found so far, the United Nations said Wednesday.
“At least 73 migrants are reported missing and presumed dead following a tragic shipwreck off the Libyan coast yesterday (Tuesday),” the UN’s International Organization for Migration said.
The boat carrying 80 people had departed Qasr Al-Akhyar, some 75 kilometres (46 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli, and was heading to Europe.
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So far, 11 bodies have been retrieved by the Libyan Red Crescent and the local police, IOM said.
And the UN migration agency said that “seven survivors who made it back to Libyan shores in extremely dire conditions are currently in the hospital”.
The central Mediterranean remains the world’s deadliest migratory sea crossing.
The latest tragedy brings the numbers of deaths there since the beginning of this year alone to 130, IOM said.
According to the agency’s Missing Migrants Project, more than 1,450 migrant deaths were recorded on that route in 2022.
And more than 17,000 deaths and disappearances have been recorded there since 2014.
“This situation is intolerable,” IOM said.
“Concrete action by states is needed to increase search and rescue capacity, establish clear and safe disembarkation mechanisms as well as safe and regular pathways to migration to reduce dangerous journeys.”