345 migrants rescued near Tripoli, over 100 missing

Elias Hubbard
June 30, 2018

Around 100 people are thought to have drowned from a migrant boat off Libya's western coast, a coastguard official said on Friday.

The Libyans managed to rescue 14 migrants from the group, the coast guard's spokesman, Ayoub Gassim, told The Associated Press.

Less than two weeks ago, as many as 100 people were saved and five bodies were recovered after they were shipwrecked off the coast in Libya.

Almost 1,000 migrants were rescued on June 24 from multiple inflatable boats which had run into trouble during perilous bids to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

The coastguard picked up 16 survivors from the boat just east of the capital, one of whom said the vessel had set off with 120-125 migrants on board, according to a coastguard statement. It is being reported that the boat was carrying a number of Moroccan families - none of which survived - as well as Syrians and Sudanese.

Traffickers have exploited Libya's chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Departures surged in 2014 when conflict in Libya worsened and more than 650,000 migrants have crossed the central Mediterranean since then.

Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for refugee agency UNHCR, said it was "still awaiting the legal analysis" of the summit's outcome, but would welcome greater collaboration on asylum.

So far in 2018, there have already been 1,000 deaths of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.

The agreement reached by European Union leaders overnight includes plans to set up secure centres in Europe to process arrivals' arrival claims, but cracks are already starting to emerge, with France and Austria ruling themselves out as hosts.

Mr Doyle said he believed most of the "disembarkation centres" planned by the European Union would be in Europe, though he said it was up to the European Union to determine which countries would host them.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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