Some 204 migrants died at sea off Libya this weekend raising the number of all those who have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea so far this year to over 1,000, according to the UN migration agency, IOM.
“From Friday to Sunday, close to 1,000 migrants were returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, who intercepted small crafts as they made their way towards the open sea,” IOM said in a statement.
A small rubber boat packed with migrants capsized off east of Tripoli; an estimated 41 people were rescued, IOM said.
Three babies were among 103 migrants who died in a shipwreck on Friday.
“There is an alarming increase in deaths at sea off Libya Coast,” IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi said.
According to IOM, about 45,000 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea since the beginning of this year.