11 migrant bodies wash up on Libyan beach
TRIPOLI - The bodies of 11 migrants who died trying to make the perilous journey to Europe have washed up on beaches around Libya's capital Tripoli, the Red Crescent said Wednesday.
"Teams from the Tripoli branch of the Libyan Red Crescent recovered 11 bodies washed up around Tripoli," Red Crescent volunteer Mohannad al-Fallah said.
"The teams in charge of recovering bodies were sent on Tuesday to several beaches around Tripoli, in residential areas where residents are accustomed to alerting authorities" about the sighting of bodies, he said.
The Libyan Red Crescent said on its Facebook page that the bodies were recovered at the Hay Al Andalus beach in the capital and in another area about 15 kilometres (10 miles) west of the city.
People smugglers have exploited the chaos gripping Libya since the 2011 uprising that overthrew dictator Moamer Kadhafi to traffic migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Many set off from the western coast in small boats for the journey to Italy, 300 kilometres (190 miles) to the north.
It is often impossible to identify the bodies of those who die during the attempt. Many are buried in numbered graves outside Libyan towns.
According to the United Nations, more than 5,000 migrants and refugees have died this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean in boats that are often overcrowded and barely seaworthy.