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Scores Feared Drowned Off Libyan Coast


Ninety migrants are feared drowned after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast, says the UN’s migration agency.

Three survivors said most of those who drowned were Pakistani nationals.

Libya has for years been a major transit route for migrants trying to reach southern Europe by sea.

But last year the EU reached a controversial deal to provide help to the Libyan coastguard in order to stop the flow of boats carrying migrants and refugees to Italy.

Aid agencies and the UN accused European governments of taking an “inhuman” approach.

“Ten bodies are reported to have washed up on Libyan shores,” the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a statement.

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A spokesperson said Pakistanis were increasingly trying to make the perilous crossing to Italy.

While Pakistanis were 13th on a list of the number of migrants trying to reach Europe last year by nationality, so far this year they are third, said the IOM.

Overall this year, the IOM reports that there have been 6,624 arrivals by sea to Europe, compared to 5,983 in the same period of 2017. So far in 2018, 246 migrants are believed to be dead or missing.

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