Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Eight migrants lifeless, 86 rescued from sinking boat off Libya

Eight migrants lifeless, 86 rescued from sinking boat off Libya

The smugglers routinely crowd much more than 100 people into motorized rubber dinghies created to hold far fewer, aiming to maximize profits on the route from lawless Libya toward southern Europe.

Between 90 and 100 migrants were missing after their makeshift boat sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Libya, the country's navy said late Tuesday.

He told The Associated Press on Saturday that the boat left Garbouli, east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with more than 100 people on board.

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After receiving humanitarian and medical assistance, the immigrants were handed over to Libya's Anti-illegal Immigration Department.

Since the 2011 fall and killing of long-time dictator Moamer Kadhafi, Libya has become a key launch pad for migrants making desperate bids to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.

Almost 20,000 Africans went home a year ago under IOM's voluntary repatriation program from Libya, including 7,000 since an African Union - European Union agreement reached in Abidjan on November 29, Millman said. "Officials here also worry that this crisis, if it escalates, could be used for global intervention in Libya".

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The boat was carrying 150 people when it set off from the eastern town of Garbouli, according to Italy's coastguard. By the time, the coast guards came to rescue the migrants, one of the ships had already sunk and only 16 people could be saved.

Survivors clung to the vessel for hours before help arrived.

"Survivors held on to the wreckage as they waited for a rescue with the bodies of those who didn't make it, including family members, floating around them", MSF said in a tweet.

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IOM reported on Tuesday 09 January that a total of 81 Mediterranean Sea deaths of migrants or refugees were recorded in the first eight days of the year. That figure is roughly a 50 percent drop from the previous year.

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