16 refugees found dead on Libya beach

Refugees that had been attempting to reach Europe have been found dead on beach in Libya

16 refugees found dead on Libya beach

World Bulletin / News Desk

The bodies of 16 refugees have been found on a beach near the western Libyan town of Zwara, the Libyan Red Crescent said on Sunday.

The refugees had been attempting to reach Europe, Khames el-Boussefi, a spokesman for the Libyan Red Crescent, told AFP.

"We have not been able to verify their nationalities, but they are presumed drowned after their boat sank," he said, adding that none of the refugees had identity documents.

"The remains were handed over to the authorities who will take care of their burial," he said.

People smugglers have exploited the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Moamer Kadhafi to traffic refugees across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Many set off from the western coast in small, unsafe boats for the perilous journey to Italy, 300 kilometres (190 miles) to the north.

It is often impossible to identify the bodies of those who die during the attempt. Many are buried in numbered graves outside Libyan towns. 

At least 3,800 people have died or disappeared in the Mediterranean since the start of the year, the highest toll ever, a spokesman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR told AFP on Wednesday.

Almost 100 refugees went missing on Wednesday after their Europe-bound boat sank, while 29 were rescued, the Libyan navy said Thursday.

On the same day, the European Union said it had begun training the Libyan coastguard as part of efforts to curb the growing influx of irregular refugees from North Africa.

 

Last Mod: 01 Kasım 2016, 20:49
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