TRIPOLI Close to one hundred migrants have been feared lacking right after their boat sank off the Libyan coastline near Tripoli on Thursday, a coastguard official stated.
Coastguard spokesman Ayoub Qassem stated 23 migrants have been rescued from the craft off Gargaresh, a western suburb of Tripoli. Survivors stated the inflatable boat experienced established off with about one hundred twenty men and women on board.
“Some ninety seven are nonetheless lacking, which include fifteen females and kids,” Qassem stated. “What occurred is that the foundation of the boat got wrecked and the boat experienced sunk.”
Libya is the primary departure issue for migrants hoping to attain Europe by sea, and far more than one hundred fifty,000 have designed the crossing from Libya to Italy in each and every of the past 3 a long time.
Smugglers put most of the migrants in flimsy inflatable dinghies that get picked up by rescue ships and other vessels at the time they attain international waters. Some are intercepted and turned again by the Libyan coastguard.
(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami Composing by Aidan Lewis Modifying by Toby Chopra)