Bodies of 27 migrants recovered in west Libya

migrant

Bodies of 27 migrants have been recovered in Western Libya, 13 of whom died of suffocation in a shipping container, the Red Crescent said on Thursday.

Those that were found in the container appeared to have been locked inside it for several days as it was transported to the coast at Khoms, where they were to attempt to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, the Red Crescent said in a statement.

Fifty-six migrants were rescued from the container, some suffering from serious injuries and fractures, the statement said.

Another 14 migrant bodies were recovered from the sea near the coastal town of Zuwara, west of Tripoli, on Thursday, while some 124 migrants were rescued in the area, a local Red Crescent spokesman said.

Libya has become a major launch-point for migrants seeking to reach Europe, mainly due to its political lawlessness.

A record 181,000 migrants reached Italy along the route last year.

Earlier this week the bodies of 74 migrants were found on the shore near Zawiya, another town west of Tripoli. The local coast guard said smugglers had stolen the engine from their boat.