11 dead migrants found on Libya beaches; another 900 rescued

TRIPOLI/ROME - The bodies of 11 migrants who died trying to make the perilous journey to Europe have washed up on beaches around Libya's capital Tripoli, the Red Crescent said Wednesday.

"Teams from the Tripoli branch of the Libyan Red Crescent recovered 11 bodies washed up around Tripoli," Red Crescent volunteer Mohannad al-Fallah said.

"The teams in charge of recovering bodies were sent on Tuesday to several beaches around Tripoli, in residential areas where residents are accustomed to alerting authorities" about the sighting of bodies, he said.

The Libyan Red Crescent said on its Facebook page that the bodies were recovered at the Hay Al Andalus beach in the capital and in another area about 15 kilometres (10 miles) west of the city.

Meanwhile, another 900 migrants have been rescued from stricken boats off Libya, Italy's coastguard said Wednesday, three days before the end of what is already a record year for arrivals at the country's southern ports.

Most of the latest batch of migrants were picked up overnight from two wooden boats travelling together and around 40 people were rescued from another boat at dawn.

Around 400 were rescued by the Aquarius, a rescue boat operated by charity SOS Mediterranee, which said the migrants it had taken on board included Eritreans, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Somalians and Syrians.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, some 180,300 migrants had been registered this year at Italian ports prior to the latest rescues. This compares with a previous annual record of 170,100, recorded in 2014. UN bodies say more than 5,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, most of them on the Libya-Italy route.

The Libyan Red Cross said Wednesday that 11 drowned bodies had been found on beaches near Tripoli in the West of the country.


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