More than 1,100 migrants have been reported dead off Libya's shores so far this year. | Photo: picture-alliance/S. Palacios
More than 1,100 migrants have been reported dead off Libya's shores so far this year. | Photo: picture-alliance/S. Palacios

The Libyan Red Crescent says the bodies of 17 people were washed ashore in western Libya on Tuesday.

At least 17 bodies thought to be those of Europe-bound migrants have washed ashore in western Libya, the Libyan Red Crescent said. They are believed to have drowned.

The bodies were found Tuesday near the western Libyan town of Zawiya, the Red Crescent’s branch in the town said. They were handed over to authorities for burial.

The Red Crescent posted images on Facebook that show its workers carrying white body bags with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.

The UN migration agency IOM says more than 1,100 migrants were reported dead or presumed dead in numerous boat mishaps and shipwrecks off Libya so far this year.

Libya became unstable after the NATO-backed 2011 uprising overthrew longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, leading to a civil war. The North African nation has since emerged as a popular, if extremely dangerous, route to Europe for migrants from Middle Eastern and African countries.

Also read: Thousands of migrants rounded up in Libya

Local militias largely govern Libya. Many of them, according to investigations, profit from migrant smuggling and trafficking. Rights groups say migrants traversing Libya have been tortured, raped, and subjected to forced labor at the hands of traffickers and inside official detention centers.

With AFP

Also read: Migrants tortured and killed in Libya by Russian mercenaries among others - UN

 

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