Security forces spotted the bodies of 28 migrants stranded on Libya’s west coast after their boat sank, an official said on Sunday, the latest tragedy on the world’s deadliest migration route.
“Libyan Red Crescent teams recovered 28 bodies of dead migrants and found three survivors at two different sites on the beaches of Al-Alous,” some 90 kilometers (55 miles) from Tripoli, the source said.
“The advanced state of decomposition of the bodies indicates that the sinking occurred several days ago,” he said, adding that the toll could increase in the coming hours.
Images released by Libyan media showed corpses lined up along the shore and then placed in body bags.
Libya, ravaged by a decade of conflict and lawlessness, has become a key starting point for African and Asian migrants desperately trying to reach Europe.
Migrants often endure horrific conditions in Libya before embarking north on overcrowded and often unfit ships that frequently sink or are in trouble.
The latest tragedy comes just days after 160 migrants were killed in a week in similar incidents, bringing the total number of lives lost this year to 1,500, according to the International Organization for Migration.
IOM says more than 30,000 migrants were intercepted during the same period and returned to Libya.
The European Union has worked closely with the Libyan Coast Guard to reduce the number of migrants arriving on European shores.
Upon their return, many face further horrific abuse in detention centers.
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