GENEVA (Reuters) – Two dozen migrants and refugees on board a rubber dinghy trying to cross from Libya to Europe are believed to have drowned after their boat capsized, the UN’s International Organization of Migration said on Tuesday.
Three boats were thought to have departed from Libya’s Zawiyah on Sunday night. The Libyan coast guard found 45 people onboard two boats and brought them back but the third had capsized, the IOM’s Safa Msehli said at a Geneva briefing.
“Two bodies were retrieved and very few survivors have reported to IOM staff at the disembarkation point last night so at least 22 others have perished,” she said.
Hundreds die each year on the Mediterranean passage and last month 45 Africans perished off the Libyan coast in the biggest shipwreck this year.
Reporting by Emma Farge, editing by Ed Osmond