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Bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore in western Libya

Bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore in western Libya

Libya

The Libyan Red Crescent has said it recovered the bodies of 74 people who washed ashore on Tuesday near Zawiya on Libya’s northern coast.

The Red Crescent said that a torn rubber boat was found nearby and that they expected more bodies to surface as such boats usually carry up to 120 people.

The drownings are the latest tragedy at sea after migrant deaths rose to record levels along the Libya-Italy smuggling route over the past months.

More than 270 people migrating are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

In 2016, more than 5,000 deaths at sea were recorded, making it the deadliest year on record.

The turmoil in Libya has enabled human trafficking to thrive leading to the smuggling of thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean.

Most of the migrants are from sub-Saharan African countries, seeking to escape poverty and find a better life in Europe.

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