Tripoli — More than 100 people have drowned in the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea.
The deceased, including three babies, were among 123 refugees and migrants whose overcrowded rubber boat sank off the coast of Tajoura in Libya this past weekend.
Others killed include 70 men and 30 women. The Libyan coast guard rescued 16 people while more than 80 bodies remain at sea.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed sadness at the tragedy suffered by the migrants who hoped for greener pastures in Europe.
UNHCR raised concern about the increasing number of people dying on the Central Mediterranean route and called for concerted international efforts to avoid further tragedies.
Meanwhile, also this past weekend, the Libyan Coast Guard disembarked some 300 refugees and migrants at the Tripoli Naval Base.
The crew included 15 children and 40 women.
Humanitarian agencies provided urgent medical and humanitarian assistance to the survivors before authorities transferred them to detention facilities.
The Central Mediterranean route has in recent years become the most-used entry to Europe by migrants and refugees.
They embark on dangerous journeys departing from North Africa
This has encouraged the development of smuggling and trafficking networks in Libya.
The volatile country has recently been at the centre of a slave trade controversy.