Over 100 missing after shipwreck off Libyan coast

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More than 100 migrants are reported missing after a ship they were sailing in sank off the coast of western Libya, the country’s navy said on Thursday.

Navy spokesperson Ayub Kassem said rescuers found at least seven survivors following that shipwreck.

The ship sank off the town of Sabratha, a notorious departing point for illegal migrants who seek to reach Europe.

Last week, Libyan coastguards rescued more than 3,000 migrants who had set out on the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean, while Italy picked another 2,000.

The number of migrants seeking to reach Europe has otherwise dropped since August when Italian and Libyan authorities signed a deal to allow the European nation to deploy troops to help curb that flow.

People smugglers have been taking advantage of the political void in Libya to extort money from desperate migrants then send them on the dangerous journey on dinghy boats.

According to IOM, there have been more than 100,000 arrivals in Italy this year, but that represents a decline of about 20 percent compared to 2016.