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World

NEAR THE COAST OF LYBIA 02. 02. 2018.   >>  15:48 0

NEAR THE COAST OF LYBIA

10 migrants drowned, 90 missing

At least 90 migrants are reported to have drowned, when a boat capsized off the coast of Libya this morning (02/02). According to IOM Libya’s Olivia Headon, 10 bodies are reported to have washed up on Libyan shores – two Libyans and eight Pakistani nationals.

Two survivors are reported to have swum to shore, while another was rescued by a fishing boat, Headon said. IOM is working to get more details of the tragedy and to see how best to assist survivors, she continued.

"According to IOM records, some 29 Libyans were rescued or intercepted in all of 2017, but we estimate the true figure to be much higher,” said Headon.

In 2017, the 3,138 Pakistani migrants arriving by sea to Italy from Libya were 13th in the overall list of migrant arrivals (119,369). This year though, they already are the third highest nationality so far, with an estimated 240 reaching Italy in January. In comparison, only nine Pakistanis arrived in Italy by sea in January 2017. According to IOM’s Missing Migrants project (MMP), there were no confirmed deaths of Pakistani or Libyan nationals in the Mediterranean in 2017. In 2016, MMP recorded that 8 Pakistani nationals went missing in the Eastern Mediterranean in a shipwreck on 14 March 2016 near Kos, Greece.

This latest tragedy comes as IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 6,624 migrants and refugees had entered Europe by sea through 28 January. This compares with 5,983 coming ashore during a similar period in 2017. Italy accounts for approximately 64 per cent of the total, with the remainder split between Spain (19 per cent) and Greece (16 per cent).

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