61 migrants, mostly Nigerians and Gambians, drown in shipwreck off Libya

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At least 61 migrants, including women and children, have drowned following a shipwreck off Libya.


The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said the boat had set off from the Libyan city of Zwara with about 86 people on board.

Libya is a key transit point along the Central Mediterranean route which the IOM lists among the world’s most dangerous migration routes.


The route offers migrants entry to Europe via Italy.

The UN agency said most of the victims of the accident were from Nigeria, Gambia and other African countries.

Flavio Di Giacomo, an IOM spokesperson, said more than 2,250 people died this year on the Central Mediterranean migrant route.

“A dramatic figure which demonstrates that unfortunately not enough is being done to save lives at sea,” Di Giacomo tweeted on Saturday.

In February, at least 73 Europe-bound migrants and refugees were declared missing and presumed dead after their ship sank off the coast of Libya.

On June 14, a fishing boat loaded with 750 people en route from Libya to Italy, sank off southwest Greece.

Only 104 survived and 82 bodies were recovered.