Three babies dead, 100 missing in shipwreck off Libya: survivors

2018-06-29 18:30
Volunteers carry the bodies of babies as migrants who survived the sinking of an inflatable dinghy boat off of the coast of Libya are brought ashore in al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli. (File, AFP)

Volunteers carry the bodies of babies as migrants who survived the sinking of an inflatable dinghy boat off of the coast of Libya are brought ashore in al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli. (File, AFP)

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The bodies of three babies were recovered and around 100 people were missing after a migrant boat sank off the coast of Libya on Friday, survivors and the coastguard said.

About 120 migrants were aboard the inflatable craft when it ran into trouble, according to survivors brought ashore in Al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli.

Sixteen people were rescued, while the missing included two babies and three children under the age of 12.

Survivors told AFP the boat sank a few hours after a pre-dawn departure from Garaboulli, east of Tripoli, following an explosion on board.

The motor then caught fire and the vessel began taking on water, they said.

The passengers included a number of Moroccan families and Yemenis.

Libya's coastguard said fishermen had spotted the vessel in difficulty and contacted the navy, which has been involved in the rescue of hundreds of migrants in recent days.

On June 18, five bodies were recovered and more than 100 people were saved after they were shipwrecked off the Libyan coast.

Nearly 1 000 migrants were rescued on June 24 from multiple inflatable boats which had run into trouble during perilous bids to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

The latest shipwreck came after European Union leaders reached a deal aimed at sharing the responsibility for hosting migrants more fairly across the bloc.

The pact reached overnight includes a proposal to set up "disembarkation platforms" outside the EU as a way to reduce the number of people taking the perilous sea journey.

Migrants who survived the sinking of an inflatable dinghy boat off of the coast of Libya are grouped on the shore of al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli. (File, AFP)

Migrants who survived the sinking of an inflatable dinghy boat off of the coast of Libya arrive on the shore of al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli. (File,AFP)

A volunteer assists migrants who survived the sinking of an inflatable dinghy boat off of the coast of Libya arrive on the shore of al-Hmidiya, east of the capital Tripoli. (File, AFP)

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