13 of 69 migrants found dead in Libya shipping container


The bodies of 13 migrants were found along with dozens of survivors trapped inside a transport container in Libya’s western town of Khoms, an aid agency said Thursday.

A total of 69 migrants of different nationalities had been trapped in the metal container for four days in an illegal attempt to travel to Europe, the Libyan Red Crescent said.

Volunteers on Wednesday placed the 13 bodies in body bags and documented them, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said. The dead included a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy.

“When the volunteers arrived, they provided first aid, psychological first aid, food and blankets for the 56 survivors, among them a five-year-old girl,” Fawsi Abdel-Alli, a spokesperson for Libyan Red Crescent Khoms branch, said.

Some of the migrants were suffering from serious injuries and fractures. The incident is the latest in a series of tragedies involving migrants in Libya.

On Monday, the Libyan Red Crescent in the north-western city of Zawiya recovered bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore.

“These recent tragedies highlight the need for safe and legal paths for migrants, who now have to risk their lives in search of a better future,” Amelia Marzal, an IFRC regional official, said.

Many Nigerians are among Africans going to Libya en route to Europe.

Libya has descended into chaos since the 2011 revolt that toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

The North African country has since turned into a major hub for illegal migrants, many of them from poor African countries.

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