Migrants on board an overcrowded inflatable boat are intercepted by the Libyan coastguard | Photo: Hani Amara, REUTERS file picture
Migrants on board an overcrowded inflatable boat are intercepted by the Libyan coastguard | Photo: Hani Amara, REUTERS file picture

The Libyan coast guard recovered the bodies of a woman and a child and rescued 73 people after a migrant boat sunk off the coast of Libya on Sunday. Up to 25 migrants remain missing.

Two bodies were retrieved on Sunday off Libya's Mediterranean coast after a boat carrying dozens of Europe-bound migrants including women and children capsized, the UN migration agency said. Up to 25 migrants remain missing. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the boat was carrying over 95 migrants and floundered off the coast of the western town of Garaboli, 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of the capital, Tripoli.

Ayoub Gassim, a spokesman for Libya's coast guard, said the two dead were a woman and a child. He added that at least 73 migrants so far, including eight children and 25 women, have been rescued and taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli.

Gassim also said that between five and 25 migrants remain missing as search efforts continue.

Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. No Libyan government has been able to successfully control the entirety of the North African country since, amid years of violence and civil war.

Thousands have perished while making the perilous sea crossing, while others have been detained and abused in Libya by smugglers and armed groups.

With material from AP and dpa

 

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