The bodies of more than a dozen migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe washed up on Libya’s coastline over the weekend, its Interior Ministry and the local Red Crescent said.
The bodies were found late Saturday in two separate locations in the coastal town of Khoms, the Red Crescent, a Muslim organisation equivalent to the Red Cross said. TOS NEWS gathered that three other migrants were rescued as search efforts continue for others.
The oranisation posted images purporting to show bodies floating in the Mediterranean Sea with its workers putting them in black burial bags.
Mohamed Abushaala, the head of the Red Crescent in Khums, a port in western Libya, said 15 bodies including that of an infant had been recovered from the shore at nearby Alous on Saturday. He said three survivors had said there were 35 people in total on their boat which had sunk.
He said a separate figure released on social media of 17 bodies, along with another 10 found on a different beach, was incorrect.
“They were at sea for approximately one day,” said Osama al-Saket, head of the Khums hospital that received the bodies following calls from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and police authorities.
“The bodies were still intact … there were 14 of them, along with one small baby,” added al-Saket.
The Interior Ministry later said 14 bodies had been recovered from a group of 60 people believed missing at sea.
The dead migrants likely drowned in recent shipwrecks off Libya, the world’s deadliest migration route with more than 17,000 recorded deaths and disappearances since 2014.
Libya is a major transit point for migrants, many from African countries, who are seeking better opportunities in Europe.