24 July 2015

Libya: Up to 40 Migrants Dead Off Libya Coast, Shipwreck Survivors Say

As many as 40 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya earlier this week, according to humanitarian organisations citing witnesses on Friday.

At least 88 sub-Saharan migrants were disembarked on Thursday by German navy vessel Holstein in the Sicilian port of Augusta, and spoke to volunteers from the UN agency for refugees, the UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration and the Save the Children charity.

"We heard from them that 35 to 40 people died," Giovanna Di Benedetto, a spokesperson for Save the Children, told dpa.

She said the migrants came from countries such as Senegal, Mali, Benin and Nigeria.

They said their dinghy started taking in water on Wednesday morning, sometime after setting off for Libya. Amid scenes of panic, people fell in the water. Some more fell during rescue operations, carried out by a merchant ship which later transferred the migrants to the German navy boat.

"What happened exactly is not clear," Di Benedetto said.

Federico Fossi, a spokesperson for UNHCR, said his organisation was treating the reports with "caution", since there were some discrepancies in what traumatised survivors told volunteers. But he confirmed the presumed 35-40 death toll.

A spokesperson for the Italian coast guard said he could not confirm nor deny the deaths, but noted that no bodies had been found.

Source: DPA


Foreign Ministry Affirms Its Full Rejection of All Claims of Hafter Forces' Spokesman

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Monday its total rejection of the statement made by the Spokesman of the Major… Read more »

Copyright © 2015 News24Wire. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.