A boat with migrants capsized off the coast of Libya. The UN migration organization IOM estimates that at least 35 people on board were killed. So far, six dead have been pulled from the sea.
A wooden boat capsized on Friday for unknown reasons near Sabratha. Many migrants go to Europe from that coastal city. There are about 300 kilometers by air to the Italian island of Lampedusa. More than 500 migrants drowned or disappeared while crossing the Mediterranean this year, according to the IOM.
Many human smugglers are active in Libya, torn apart by civil war. Overcrowded boats for migrants regularly capsize off the Libyan coast. Earlier this month, 90 people lost their lives in such a shipwreck.
According to the UN, evidence of crimes against humanity has been found. Both human smugglers and in state prisons treat migrants inhumanely.
African migrants have been trying to reach Europe via the Mediterranean for years. Last year, 150,000 people managed to cross that dangerous crossing. This is significantly more than in 2020 and 2019, but still much less than during the 2015 and 2016 refugee crises.
The number of deaths is also increasing. There were more than 2,000 dead and missing last year, the highest number in three years, the IOM reported.