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26 July 2017

Thirteen migrants including pregnant women and children found dead in rubber dinghy drifting in the Mediterranean Sea as 167 others are found alive

THIRTEEN migrants including pregnant women and children have been found dead in rubber dinghy drifting in the Mediterranean Sea – as 167 others were saved.

A Spanish rescue group released the figures after shocking photos emerged showing the dead and dying stacked up in the boat.

Shocking pictures show a pile of bodies in a dinghy being used by migrants to cross the Mediterranean
Shocking pictures show a pile of bodies in a dinghy being used by migrants to cross the Mediterranean
Aid workers from Proactiva Open Arms recover dead bodies in tragic scenes
Aid workers from Proactiva Open Arms recover dead bodies in tragic scenes
2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
A mum sobs after being rescued from the boat during the crossing from Africa
A mum sobs after being rescued from the boat during the crossing from Africa
AP:Associated Press

One horrifying snap shows the survivors sitting on the sides of the raft – around a pile bodies, many of which are naked.

Others show the dead being wrapped up and lifted onto a rescue vessel as those still alive sob after their lives are saved.

Laura Lanuza, a spokeswoman for Spain’s Proactiva Open Arms aid group, said 121 men, 40 women and six children were among those rescued yesterday 15 miles north of the Libyan coastal town of Sabratha.

In a separate incident, a boat from the charity Save the Children came to the aid of some 90 migrants aboard a small boat, according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

Both rescue operations off the coast of Libya were coordinated by the Italian coast guard.

More than 2,200 migrants have died trying to reach Europe across the Mediterranean so far this year according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Survivors of the disaster are seen sitting around the bodies of those who died
Survivors of the disaster are seen sitting around the bodies of those who died
Rescue workers wrap up the body of one of the victims in the dinghy
Rescue workers wrap up the body of one of the victims in the dinghy
The wrapped up bodies are brought aboard the rescue vessel in grim scenes
The wrapped up bodies are brought aboard the rescue vessel in grim scenes
2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Libya’s Tripoli-based government has now asked Italy to provide naval support to fight human trafficking in its territorial waters.

Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni made the revelation today after meeting Libyan PM Fayez al-Seraj in Rome.

Gentiloni said “A few days ago, President Seraj sent me a letter in which he asked the Italian government for technical support by our naval vessels in the common effort to fight human traffickers.”


The Italian leader added that the request, if parliament agrees to support it, “is necessary” and “would be carried out in Libyan waters by ships sent from Italy”.

Libya’s coastguard rescued an estimated 278 migrants including women and children on Monday off the shores of two different towns west of the capital Tripoli, a spokesman said.

The coastal towns to the west of Tripoli – Zawiya, Sabratha, and Zuwarah – are common departure points for migrants trying to reach Europe, often sent out by smugglers in flimsy vessels.

African migrants in an overloaded boat wait to be rescued in the Mediterranean
African migrants in an overloaded boat wait to be rescued in the Mediterranean
AP:Associated Press
Heartbreaking snaps show people begging to be rescued from the packed boat
Heartbreaking snaps show people begging to be rescued from the packed boat
AP:Associated Press
Rescue workers recover bodies of five migrants off Libya who had drowned trying to reach Europe

The coastguard near Zawiya refinery rescued 128 people about 14 miles off the coast and another 150 were rescued off Sabratha, the spokesman of Libyan naval forces Ayoub Qaseed revealed.

The migrants were mostly from sub-Saharan African countries, though there was also one from Bangladesh and two from Egypt.

Thousands of migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea use the central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy.

An aid worker from Proactiva Open Arms lifts a small child to safety
An aid worker from Proactiva Open Arms lifts a small child to safety
AP:Associated Press
One of the bodies of the victims is brought on board the rescue vessel
One of the bodies of the victims is brought on board the rescue vessel
AP:Associated Press

The vast majority of migrants set off from the coastal towns of western Libya.

Italy and the EU are trying to work with Libyan authorities to fight smugglers.

But the current chaos in Libya has allowed armed groups and criminal gangs to flourish and is hampering efforts to combat trafficking.


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