By Abimbola Ogunnaike
The Libyan coastguard recovered on Tuesday, 25 April, 2023, the bodies of 11 migrants including a child after their Europe-bound boat sank off the North African country’s coast, an AFP journalist said.
The coastguard also came to the aid of at least four survivors of the shipwreck who were able to swim to shore after the sinking.
Authorities in the town of Garabulli, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Tripoli, were alerted to the presence of bodies floating in the water a few metres (yards) from the shore.
They recovered the bodies of 10 men and a girl and placed them in white body bags, and rescued the survivors who were too exhausted to flee on foot, the AFP journalist said.
Lying on grass, the survivors tried to catch their breath and regain strength after receiving food and drink from the rescuers.
One of the migrants said the boat had carried about 80 people before it went down near the coastline.
Some fled the area after swimming back to shore, but the fate of other migrants was not immediately clear.
Those on board the stricken vessel were of various nationalities, including Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan, according to passports shown by the survivors.
More than a decade of violence in Libya since the fall and killing of dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011 helped turn the country into a fertile ground for human traffickers who have been accused of abuses ranging from extortion to slavery.
The Libyan Red Crescent said on Monday that it had recovered the bodies of 34 migrants since an inflatable boat carrying around 100 people sank off the city of Sabratha last week.