UN: Bodies of at least 6 migrants found on Libyan coast

CAIRO — At least six bodies of Europe-bound migrants were found on Libya’s Mediterranean coast on Friday, while another 90 were intercepted by Libya’s coast guard, the U.N. migration agency said.

Libya has emerged as a major transit point for African and Arab migrants fleeing war and poverty to Europe. Most migrants make the perilous journey in ill-equipped and unsafe rubber boats.

The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration tweeted that the bodies washed up on the shores of the Libyan port of al-Khums.

In recent years, the EU has partnered with Libya's coast guard and other local groups to stem the dangerous sea crossings. Rights groups, however, say those policies leave migrants at the mercy of armed groups or confined in squalid detention centers rife with abuses.

Separately, Libya’s eastern parliament Thursday accused the Italian government of violating the country’s sovereignty by flying a drone near the frontlines of the ongoing war between the Tripoli-based U.N.-backed government and the east-based, self-styled Libyan National Army.

“The Libyan parliament demands that the Italian authorities provide an official explanation to this act of aggression on Libya’s sovereignty,” read the statement issued by the LNA-allied parliament.

In a Wednesday press conference Ahmed al-Mosmari, the LNA spokesman said their forces had shot down an Italian drone near the city of Tarhouna, a town about 40 miles (60 kilometers) south of Tripoli.

In response, the office of Italy’s Joint Chief of Staffs issued a statement Wednesday affirming that an Italian drone crashed in Libyan territory while it was on a mission to support efforts aimed at stemming migrant sea crossings. He added that the plane was following a flight plan that had been communicated in advance to Libyan authorities.

Since 2015, Libya has been divided between two governments, in the east and the west. In April, the LNA launched an offensive to capture Tripoli from the U.N.-backed government. While the LNA enjoys the support of France, Russia and Key Arab countries, the Tripoli-based government is backed by Italy, Turkey and Qatar.

___

Associated Press writer Frances D’Emilio contributed to this report from Rome.

People also read these

Turkey's PM says Greek Cypriot gas search...

Jul 20, 2017

Turkey's prime minister says a Greek Cypriot search for oil and gas off Cyprus' southern coast is...

Cyprus: new gas deposit too small to exploit,...

Sep 12, 2017

Cyprus' energy minister says exploratory drilling off the island's southern coast has discovered a...

Egypt says gas discoveries can be EU's new energy...

Nov 20, 2017

Egypt's president says newly discovered gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean can offer Europe...

Cyprus, Egypt, Greece pledge closer cooperation...

Nov 21, 2017

The leaders of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece say they'll work more closely with the European Union to...

UK minister expects closer defense ties with...

Jan 5, 2018

Britain's defense minister says authorities want to ensure that British armed forces "work closer...

About Us

Get a quick look at what’s happening in the world today with in-depth analysis on international news, politics, business and technology, only in Central News Today.

Contact us: sales[at]centralnewstoday.com

Subscribe Now!