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Toll in Libya migrant shipwreck rises to 76: aid workers

PHOTO: news.yahoo.com

PHOTO: news.yahoo.com

At least 76 people have died after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants sank off the coast of Libya, a spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent said Friday.

“Until now 76 bodies have been retrieved from the sea and 198 people have been rescued,” Mohammad al-Misrati told AFP.

Libya’s coastguard initially said that 30 people had died in the disaster that unfolded on Thursday near the western port of Zuwara.

“There are still people missing but we don’t know how many,” Misrati said, adding that the figures of dead and rescued came from the local Red Crescent branch, medical facilities in Zuwara, and the Libyan coastguard.

A coastguard official said that the survivors and the victims whose bodies had been retrieved came from African countries.

People smugglers have taken advantage of the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Moamer Kadhafi to step up their lucrative business.

But the Mediterranean crossing is treacherous, and more than 2,300 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe this year alone.



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