87 bodies wash up on Libya beach

2016-07-25 22:07
FILE: Crew of the Italian navy ship Aliseo taking part in an operation in which 290 migrants were rescued from three dinghies off the Libyan coast. (Marina Militare, AFP)

FILE: Crew of the Italian navy ship Aliseo taking part in an operation in which 290 migrants were rescued from three dinghies off the Libyan coast. (Marina Militare, AFP)

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Tripoli - The number of bodies of migrants recovered on a Libyan beach since the weekend has risen to 87, a media official from the coastal city of Sabratha said on Monday.

The bodies began washing up on the city's beach west of Tripoli on Friday, the official said.

On Saturday, 41 bodies were found by a group of volunteers trained by the city council and sent to a morgue for DNA testing before being buried.

The rest were found over the weekend, the official added.

Illegal migration from Libya booms in the summer months when the Mediterranean is generally calm and traffickers pack unsafe boats with migrants desperate to start a new life in Europe.

People smugglers have taken advantage of the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi to boost their lucrative business.

They cram migrants into boats that are small and unsafe for the perilous journey to Italy just 300km from Libya's shores.

Thousands of migrants try each year to make the sea crossing but many drown.

More than 10 000 migrants bound for Europe, mostly sub-Saharan Africans, have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean since 2014, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Read more on:    libya  |  migrants
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