World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 31 refugees who were trying to cross to Europe from Libya drowned on Saturday, a Libyan military spokesperson said.
Capt. Ayoub Qasim, Libyan Naval Forces spokesman, told Anadolu Agency that coast guard teams reached the bodies of 31 refugees east of the capital Tripoli.
A total of 35 others were rescued, Qasim added.
The boat carrying the refugees had left the Libyan coast on Friday night, but sunk while it was trying to reach Europe, he added.
Qasim said that there were children among the victims and all the refugees were African nationals.
According to the UN, nearly 151,000 refugees entered Europe by the Mediterranean so far in 2017, compared to some 335,000 by this point period last year.
Over 19,000 migrants have been rescued or intercepted in Libyan waters so far in 2017, according to the UN.
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