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Wednesday, 28 June 2017

24 dead bodies found in the Mediterranean

Red Crescent volunteers recovered the bodies of 24 migrants on Tuesday that were washed
up in an eastern suburb of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, as
large-scale rescues were made in the Mediterranean.
    Residents in Tajoura district said the bodies had begun
washing up at the end of last week. Several had been partially
devoured by stray dogs, according to a local coast guard
    The toll was expected to increase as the flimsy boats used
to carry migrants as far as international waters normally carry
more than 100 people.
    Three migrants died in the Mediterranean on Monday night, a
German aid group said, during Italian-led rescue operations in
which thousands more were pulled to safety.
    About 5,000 migrants were picked up off the Libyan coast by
emergency services, Italy's navy, aid groups and private boats
on Monday, and rescues were continuing on Tuesday, according to
an Italian coastguard spokesman.

"Despite all efforts, three people died from a sinking
rubber boat" and rescue boats in the area are struggling to
cope, German humanitarian group Jugend Rettet said on Facebook.
     Jugend Rettet (Rescuing Youth) is one of about nine aid
groups patrolling seas into which people traffickers have sent
more than half a million refugees and migrants on highly
dangerous voyages towards Europe over the past four years.
    "We reached the capacity limit of our ship, while our crew
is seeing more boats on the horizon. Currently, all vessels are
overloaded," Jugend Rettet added.
    The total number of migrants reaching Europe by sea so far
this year is less than half that counted in the same period of
2016, thanks to a deal between the EU and Turkey which blocked a
once-busy route to Greece. But the number coming to Italy has
    About 72,000 migrants arrived in Italy on the perilous route
from Libyabetween Jan. 1 and June 21, roughly 20 percent more
than in 2016, and more than 2,000 died on the way, according to
the International Organization for Migration.
    Criminal gangs have taken advantage of widespread
lawlessness in Libya to establish profitable businesses,
cramming mainly sub-Saharan African and Bangladeshi migrants
into flimsy rubber boats.
    The Spanish naval ship Victoria, deployed in the European
Union's Mediterranean mission, went to the aid of six boats and
took on migrants from rescue vessels that were already full to
capacity, Spain's defence ministry said.
    The Victoria then headed to the southern Italian island of
Lampedusa with 907 migrants on board, one of whom was in
critical condition, a ministry statement said.
    Italy and the EU are trying to work with Libyan authorities
to fight smugglers, but the same chaos which allowed the gangs
to flourish is hampering official efforts.

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