Dozens dead in migrant shipwreck off Liby

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Dozens dead in migrant shipwreck off Liby

 

At least 74 migrants died after the sinking of the ship that transported them off the coast of Libya, according to the UN.

Rescuers managed to bring 47 survivors ashore, staff from its International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Libya has been a major transit point for migrants from many countries trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean.

According to IOM, at least 900 people have drowned on the road this year, and 11 others have returned to Libya, where it says they face detention and abuse.

Five migrants died on Wednesday and 100 were rescued when their boat capsized off the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha, not far from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

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Migrants have also died trying to reach Spain's Canary Islands from West African coasts. Some 140 people drowned off the coast of Senegal last month when their boat caught fire and capsized.

Where did the last shipwreck take place?

IOM claims it took place Thursday off Khums in Libya.

He said the boat was carrying more than 120 people, including women and children. Coast guard and fishermen brought the survivors ashore.

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There have been at least nine migrant wrecks in the central Mediterranean since October 1, according to IOM.

Federico Soda, IOM Chief of Mission in Libya, said: "The growing loss of human life in the Mediterranean is a manifestation of states' inability to take decisive action to redeploy dedicated search and rescue capabilities and indispensable in the world's deadliest sea crossing. "

IOM does not believe that Libya is a safe point of return for migrants rescued at sea, fearing they may face human rights violations, trafficking and exploitation.

Mr Soda said: "Thousands of vulnerable people continue to pay the price for inaction both at sea and on land".

Libya has not had a stable government since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, although it is hoped that the current UN-led talks could lead to a transitional government and then to elections.

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Graph showing the routes of migrants to Europe

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