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

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AL-HMIDIYA , Libya, June 29, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – 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.

 

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