GENEVA — About 90 individuals are feared drowned after a smuggler’s boat carrying largely Pakistani migrants capsized off Libya’s coast early Friday, the U.N.’s migration company mentioned.
Ten our bodies have washed ashore close to the Libyan city of Zuwara following the tragedy within the early morning, mentioned Worldwide Group for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon, citing data from its associate companies.
“We’re advised that two survivors swam to shore, and one particular person was rescued by a fishing boat,” Headon mentioned by cellphone from Tunisia’s capital to reporters on the U.N. in Geneva. “We’re working to get extra particulars on the (capsizing) and the place the survivors are in order that we will help them higher.”
Initially, the Libyan coast guard mentioned a patrol it despatched out discovered no indicators of a capsized boat, survivors, or drowned migrants. However late at night time, it cited a press release from officers in Zuwara who mentioned that 13 our bodies had been discovered, all Pakistani aside from one Libyan lady.
Pakistan’s Overseas Ministry mentioned 11 of its residents had drowned within the incident. Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal advised The Related Press that Pakistani diplomats reached Libya’s coastal space to gather extra particulars and start the method of repatriating the our bodies of the deceased.
Headon mentioned Pakistani nationals are growing among the many variety of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Italy and Europe through Libya. By nationality, Pakistanis final 12 months made up the 13th largest nationality represented amongst migrants making the crossing, however they had been the third-largest contingent in January.
Headon mentioned the explanation for the growing circulate of Pakistanis wasn’t instantly clear, nor whether or not the larger inflow is prone to proceed, however added: “We’re wanting into it.”
IOM says 6,624 individuals crossed the Mediterranean in January — about two-thirds of them to Italy — a couple of 10-percent enhance from a 12 months earlier. About 250 individuals died within the crossing in January, six fewer than a 12 months in the past.