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UN: At least 57 people drown off Libyan coast

At least 57 people drowned on Monday when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coastal Libyan city of Khums, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

At least 57 people drowned on Monday when their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coastal Libyan city of Khums, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

Some survivors were brought to shore by fishermen and the coastguard, IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli wrote on Twitter without specifying how many people were rescued.

Survivors said at least 20 women and two children were among those who drowned, Msehli added.

Monday’s deaths come less than a week after some 20 migrants also drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, while 500 were intercepted and taken back to Libya.

Almost 15,000 migrants have been intercepted by the EU-backed Libyan coastguard in the first half of this year, which the United Nations said was more than those who disembarked in all of 2020.

Libya has become a major transit route for migrants trying to reach Europe by boat since chaos erupted after the 2011 revolt that toppled long-time dictator Moamer Gaddafi.

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