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11 bodies of migrants bound for Italy recovered off Libya

Migration 2024-06-09, 12:04pm

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Dead body



ROME, Jun 9 (AP/UNB) — An aid group said Saturday it recovered the bodies of 11 migrants off the Libyan coast and transferred them to an Italian coast guard ship off Lampedusa island, where thousands are trying to reach from North Africa.

The aid group, Doctors Without Borders, said its Geo Barents rescue ship had recovered the bodies following a search operation that lasted more than nine hours, after being alerted by German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch, which also rescues migrants at sea.

The German group said it was unclear whether the migrants were victims of a previous shipwreck, adding they had tried to contact Libya’s coast guard to recover the bodies but received no reply.

During Saturday’s mission, the Sea-Watch crew also discovered another body.

“As we cannot determine the reason behind this tragedy, we know that people will continue to take dangerous routes in a desperate attempt to reach safety, and Europe must find safe and legal pathways for them,” Doctors Without Borders, also known as MSF, wrote in a post on X.

The MSF vessel was ordered to transport the other 165 people onboard, who were rescued during its Mediterranean operations, to the northern port of Genoa. The group complained that the decision would significantly delay assistance to migrants.

Thousands of migrants leaving from North African countries try to reach Europe using Libya as a departing point, as they brave a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean to escape war and poverty.

The central Mediterranean route remains the world’s most dangerous crossing. In 2023, more than 3,000 people went missing on this route, according to the International Organization for Migration.