Nearly 200 migrants dead or missing in 2018, IOM

Two women drowned 290 migrants rescued off Libya’s shores

Two women drowned 290 migrants rescued off Libya’s shores

The Libyan Coast Guard noted that eight of those that drowned are from Bangladesh, including a woman, and two from Pakistan.

Photo Migrants were taken to a naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday after being rescued by the country's coast guard.

The Italian coast guard, which coordinates rescues in worldwide waters off Libya's coast, said an aircraft on patrol for a European anti-smuggling operation had spotted the dinghy, which was in difficulty Saturday morning.

All eight victims were female, Liardo said.

He said survivors told rescuers that roughly 150 migrants were aboard when the dinghy was launched from Libya's coast. Unfortunately, we could not trace anybody or other survivors.

Survivors from a boat that foundered off Libya's coast on Tuesday said about 50 people who had embarked with them were feared dead, while the coastguard said the number of missing might be as high as 100.

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The boat sank off the city of Khoms, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the Libyan capital, Kacem said.

A Nigerian woman who had been on board the boat that sank, Zainab Abdesalam, told Reuters the migrants had waited several hours to be rescued and that the survivors were extremely weak. Some 119,310 people made it alive to Italy in 2017 against 181,436 the year before.

Some 21,663 migrants arrived in Spain as of December 28 past year, while 1,067 landed in Cyprus, preliminary figures show.

By contrast, IOM recorded just 26 migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea lanes during the just-ended month of December 2017, at a time when Mediterranean migrants deaths were dropping sharply.

Human rights advocates, while opposed to trafficking, have criticized that approach, saying it means the mostly sub-Saharan migrants are then trapped in slave-like conditions in detention camps in Libya.

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