At least 57 migrants have died off the coast of Libya this week, including 20 women and two young children. This year, about 970 migrants have already died in the Mediterranean Sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday.
The boat carrying the victims had left the Libyan city of Khoms, about 120 kilometers east of the capital Tripoli, on Sunday but suffered technical problems and sank.
“Local fishermen and the Libyan coastguard have rescued 18 people,” said IOM spokesman Paul Dillon.
“The survivors have told our teams that at least 57 people were missing,” Paul added.
According to the spokesman, IOM teams have provided medical assistance, water, and food to the castaways, who are from Nigeria, Ghana, and The Gambia.
“This drama brings the death toll on the Central Mediterranean route by 2021 to approximately 970 men, women, and children,” Dillon said.