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Bodies on the beach as the Mediterranean claims more lives: At least 100 drowned migrants wash up on Libyan shore – as 300 are rescued in another boat disaster with hundreds still missing

  • Bodies among hundreds of refugees who died in the sea last week as departures from North Africa to Italy surged
  • It comes as a major rescue operation was underway to save hundreds of migrants whose boat capsized off Crete
  • Two patrol boats, a plane and helicopter sent to the scene and at least four ships have joined the rescue operation

The bodies of more than 100 refugees have washed up on a Libyan beach as a new migrant boat tragedy unfolded in the Mediterranean south of Greece today.

They were among hundreds of refugees who died in a boat disaster earlier this week as departures from the North African coast towards Italy surged.

Colonel Ayoub Gassim said the Libyan coast guards found the empty boat on Thursday and that it is possible it capsized the day before. He blamed Europe for ‘doing nothing but counting bodies’ to stop the illegal migration from Libya.

It came as Greek authorities said three bodies were recovered and 302 refugees rescued from another capsized boat carrying 700 people off the island of Crete today. Hundreds are still missing.

It was the second migrant vessel found in that area of the southern Aegean Sea since last week, indicating that people smugglers may be forging a new route to avoid NATO ships.

A coastguard spokeswoman said: ‘People are in the water, boats crossing the area have thrown lifebuoys and are moving to save the migrants.’

She said a passing ship spotted the sinking vessel about 75 nautical miles south of Crete, Greece’s largest island, in the southern Aegean Sea.

The coastguard rushed two patrol boats, a plane and a helicopter to the scene while at least four ships crossing the area joined the rescue operation.

About half of the 25-metre-long boat is underwater, the spokeswoman said. It was not immediately clear where the boat had left from or where it was headed.

The International Organisation


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