150 African migrants feared dead after boat capsizes off coast of Libya

Libya’s coast guard says dozens of Europe-bound migrants are missing and feared drowned after the rubber boats they were travelling on capsized in the Mediterranean Sea. 

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Up to 70 dead after boat capsizes trying to reach Europe from Libya

Survivors report fishing vessel coming to their rescue 40 miles of coast of Tunisia/Lorenzo Tondoin Palermo@lorenzo_tondo

As many as 70 people trying to reach Europe from Libya have drowned after their vessel capsized in the deadliest such incident in the Mediterranean since January.

According to survivors, at least 16 of whom were rescued, the boat left Zuwara in Libya, where renewed warfare between rival factions has gripped the capital, Tripoli, in the past five weeks. The vessel capsized 40 miles off the coast of Sfax, south of Tunis, as it headed towards Italy.

"With insufficient fuel, no life jackets or other safety features, and often with no means to call for help, such as a satellite phone, these boats have virtually no chance of reaching European coasts by themselves and they are in need of rescue from the moment they depart," the report states. It added that in the first half of 2017, 73,000 refugees and migrants reached Italy by sea, 14 per cent more than in the same period the previous year. It is estimated that by the end of June, 2,0030 people had died or gone missing when making the crossing. The organisation warned that at this rate, 2017 could be the deadliest year for migrants in the Mediterranean.

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