At least 13 immigrants die off Libyan coast: IOM

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Miguel Duarte carries out a rescue operation from the Iuventa ship on the Mediterranean Sea, June, 2017. Picture taken June, 2017. Rita Gaspar/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Miguel Duarte carries out a rescue operation from the Iuventa ship on the Mediterranean Sea, June, 2017. (Photo: Rita Gaspar/Reuters) 

At least 13 immigrants died at sea off Libyan coast after a shipwreck, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Friday.

“At least 13 lives are lost at sea and three bodies retrieved after a tragic shipwreck occurred off the coast of Libya last night,” IOM tweeted.

“IOM staff are now providing medical assistance to 22 survivors brought to shore by fishing vessels,” it said.

Following the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos that prompts thousands of illegal immigrants to attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe from the country.

According to the IOM, thousands of migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya in 2020.

Many immigrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by authorities, have remained detained in overcrowded centers in Libya despite repeated international calls to close these centers.

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