Tragedy: 200 Feared Dead As Boat Sinks (Photos)

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About 200 migrants mainly Africans bound for Italy are feared dead, after their boat sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday, August 27.

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The Libyan coast guard is not fully equipped and so could not handle the situation to the best . Photo: AFP

Security officials in the western town of Zuwara, where the overcrowded boat had set off, said at least 400 people were on board. It is suspected that many were trapped in the hold when it capsized.

According to officials, the Libyan coast guard rescued around 201, by late evening of which 147 were brought to a detention facility for illegal migrants in Sabratha, west of Tripoli.


The Guardian UK reports that the migrants on board had been from sub-Saharan Africa, Pakistan, Syria, Morocco and Bangladesh.

The boat accident could not be immediately confirmed by the Italian coast guard, which has been coordinating rescue operations with the European Union off the Libyan coast.


Properties belonging to migrants floating on the ocean, as rescue operations continue. Photo: AFP

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Few bodies were washed ashore, while many others were seen floating on the water.

GRAPHIC CONTENT Rescue workers pull the bodies of illegal immigrants onto shore of al-Qarbole, some 60 kilometres east of Tripoli on August 25, 2014 after a boat carrying 200 illegal immigrants from sub-Sahara Africa sunk off the Libyan capital two days earlier. Libya, which is mired in unrest and political chaos, has been a launchpad for illegal migrants seeking a better life in Europe but who turn to people smugglers to get them across the Mediterranean. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD TURKIA

Rescue workers pull the bodies of illegal immigrants to shore. after a boat carrying 200 illegal immigrants from sub-Sahara Africa sunk off the coast of Libya. Photo: AFP

More lives might have been saved but Libya’s coast guard has very limited capabilities, relying on small inflatables, tug boats and fishing vessels.

The Libyan western town of Zuwara is located near the Tunisian border. For some time now the town has acted as a major launchpad for smugglers shipping migrants to Italy.


Most migrants fleeing conflict and poverty to make it to Europe see Libya as a transit route. Exploiting the country’s lawlessness and state of pandemonium, smugglers network bring Syrians into Libya via Egypt or nationals of sub-Saharan countries via Niger, Sudan and Chad.

The International Organisation for Migration has said that above 2,300 people have died this year, all in attempts to reach Europe by boat. This figure is alarming when compared to the 3,279 migrant deaths recorded all through last year.

On Thursday, August 27, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel said 50 refugees were found dead in a parked lorry in Austria near the Hungarian border, the discovery has shaken European leaders discussing the migrant crisis at a Balkans summit.

, putting them in overcrowded makeshift detention facilities such as schools or military barracks where they live in poor conditions lacking medical care.

There used to be deportation of migrants caught in the North African country, but the unrest between armed groups have interrupted that exercise, because most of the lands that border across to Niger, Algeria, and Chad have been cut off.

The post Tragedy: 200 Feared Dead As Boat Sinks (Photos) appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read on NAIJ.COM.

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