Libyan Coast Guard Recovers Dozens of Bodies after Migrant Boat Capsizes
Libya’s coast guard has recovered some 55 bodies of migrants who perished when their boat capsized last Thursday while attempting to reach Europe. The Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tripoli said that up to 350 migrants had been aboard the vessel that sank near the town of Khoms, located about 75 miles east of the capital, and it is feared that up to 150 of them, including many women and children, were killed. According to the agency, the migrants hailed from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Libya. A UN official described the shipwreck as “the worst Mediterranean tragedy” this year. Meanwhile, two survivors told the Associated Press that they had each paid upward of $400 to smugglers who vowed to transport them to Italy’s coast. Amnesty International has called on the European Union to “show some courage” by reversing its decision to halt migrant rescue missions in the Mediterranean. Following the 2011 NATO-backed mission that ousted and then led to the killing of former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, the ensuing chaos transformed the country into a major conduit for individuals trying to escape regional turmoil by reaching the shores of Europe.