More bodies wash up on Libyan beaches

2016-06-05 19:29
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Zuwarah - The bodies of 132 migrants trying to reach Europe were found on western Libyan beaches over the past four days, the Red Crescent and a local official said on Sunday.

All except three washed up on beaches in the town of Zuwarah, while the rest were found on a beach in Mellitah 20km further east.

Red Crescent spokesperson Mohammad al-Misrati said 17 bodies were found on Thursday, confirming earlier reports and said 12 more were found on Friday.

Zuwarah council member Khaled Ben Khalifa said three other bodies washed up on a beach in Mellitah, near a gas plant, bringing the total to 132.

People smugglers have exploited the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Muammar Gaddafi to traffic migrants across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

It is a lucrative business for the smugglers who 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 crossing, but many drown when their boats founder.

Read more on:    libya  |  migrants  |  north africa

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