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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

At least 28 migrants’ bodies found lined up on Libya’s western coast

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The bodies of at least 28 migrants, including a baby and two women, have washed up on Libya’s western coast after their boat sunk, a security official said Sunday.

“Libyan Red Crescent teams recovered 28 bodies of dead migrants and found three survivors at two different sites on the beaches of Al-Alous,” the source revealed.

The Libyan Red Crescent said the bodies were found late on Saturday in two separate locations in the coastal town of Khoms, some 90 kilometres from Tripoli.

The Interior Ministry believes the bodies recovered belonged to a group of 60 people supposedly missing at sea.

“The bodies’ advanced state of decomposition indicates that the shipwreck happened several days ago,” he added, adding that the toll could rise in the coming hours.

“Of course, the refrigerator of the Khoms hospital can deal with fresh corpses, but decomposing corpses are difficult to work with and store in the refrigerator, now the bodies are in the refrigerator, and God willing, the bodies will be shown to the coroner tomorrow,” explained Osama Jumaa Al-Saket, the general director of Khoms Hospital.

Images published by Libyan media outlets showed corpses lined up along the shore then placed in body bags, in the latest tragedy on the world’s deadliest migration route.

Some were luckier — last Thursday, the NGO vessel Sea-Eye disembarked in Sicily, bringing 214 people to safety, after being first refused disembarkation in Malta.

Libya, wracked by a decade of conflict and lawlessness, has become a key departure point for African and Asian migrants making desperate attempts to reach Europe.

Migrants often endure horrific conditions in Libya before embarking northwards on overcrowded, often unseaworthy vessels that frequently sink or get into trouble.

The latest tragedy comes just days after 160 migrants died within a week in similar incidents, bringing the total number of lives lost this year to 1,500, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The IOM says more than 30,000 migrants have been intercepted in the same period and returned to Libya.

The European Union has cooperated closely with the Libyan Coast Guard to cut numbers of migrants arriving on European shores.

On their return, many face further horrific abuses in detention centres.

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