June 21, 2018 / 7:39 PM / 2 months ago

Survivors report 220 migrants drown off Libya in last days - UNHCR

GENEVA, June 21 (Reuters) - Survivors have reported that about 220 people drowned off the coast of Libya in the last few days while trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Thursday.

In a statement it said that only five people survived the capsizing of a boat carrying 100 people on Tuesday, while the same day a rubber craft with 130 passengers sank, leading to 70 people drowning. On Wednesday a boat of refugees and migrants who were rescued reported that more than 50 people travelling with them had perished at sea, it said.

“UNHCR is dismayed at the ever-growing numbers of refugees and migrants losing their lives at sea and is calling for urgent international action to strengthen rescue at sea efforts by all relevant and capable actors, including NGOs and commercial vessels, throughout the Mediterranean,” the agency said. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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