Dozens Feared Dead After Shipwreck In Libya

27 August 2019, 16:15

Dozens Feared Dead After Shipwreck In Libya
Dozens Feared Dead After Shipwreck In Libya. Picture: PA Images

As many as 40 people are feared dead after a boat of migrants capsized off the Libyan coast, a UN official has said.

A rescue operation has been ongoing since the early hours of this morning, involving local fishermen and the Libyan Coast Guard.

In a tweet Charley Yaxley, a UN refugee agency spokesman, said: "Terrible news coming in of potentially large loss of life in a shipwreck off the coast of Libya," he tweeted, adding that details still remained "sketchy".

"Around 60 people have been rescued and returned to shore. At least 40 people are estimated to be dead or missing.

"If today's tragic numbers are confirmed, the number of people drowned in the Mediterranean in 2019 will have reached close to 900.

"UNHCR is calling for urgent increase in search+rescue capacity on the central Med, including lifting of restrictions on NGO boats."

It's being reported that survivors are from a number of North African countries, including Morocco, Egypt and Sudan.