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IOM: 5 migrants drown off Libya coast

A Libyan helicopter over as refugees wait to get on onboard the rescue vessel Golfo Azzurro by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, after being rescued from a wooden boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea near Libya on Thursday, 15 June, 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]
A Libyan helicopter hovers over as refugees wait to get on onboard the rescue vessel in the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]

At least five migrants, including a woman and a child, drowned on Sunday when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said yesterday.

Up to 77% of migrants face abuse, exploitation and trafficking - Refugee crisis, Libya - Cartoon [Hani Abbas/MiddleEastMonitor]

Up to 77% of migrants face abuse, exploitation and trafficking – Refugee crisis, Libya – Cartoon [Hani Abbas/MiddleEastMonitor]

IOM spokeswoman Safaa Msehli said the Europe-bound boat was carrying 45 migrants when it capsized, adding that fishermen rescued 40 migrants and returned them to the shore.

Msehli said the boat was among nine others carrying more than 700 migrants intercepted on Sunday by the Libyan coast guard. They were sent to overcrowded detention centres.

She expressed the UN migration agency's concern that the migrants' lives might be at risk in detention.

Attempts to cross the Mediterranean from the coast of Libya to Europe have increased in recent weeks, as smugglers take advantage of the calm sea and warm weather.

READ: Over 600 migrants died in Mediterranean this year

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AfricaEUInternational OrganisationsIOMLibyaNews
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