153 African migrants missing after boat sinks off Libya

TRIPOLI (AA) – At least 153 illegal African migrants are missing after their boat sank off the Libyan coasts, while 17 others were rescued, the Libyan navy said Saturday.

The boat, which was carrying 170 illegal migrants, was heading to Europe but it sank off the Libyan coast, navy spokesman Ayoub Qassem was quoted by official news agency as saying.

Rescue operations are ongoing for survivors, he added.

Libya is a major transit point for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy, via the Mediterranean Sea.

From March to August of last year, more than 30,000 illegal migrants entered the troubled North African country, according to U.N. estimates.

 

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