More than 100 bodies recovered on Libyan beach

Refugee and Migrant Crisis

Libyan Red Crescent personnel retrieve the body of a migrant that washed up on a Libyan beach on the coast of the northwestern Libyan port city of Zuwarah on June 2, 2016. (AFP PHOTO)

The bodies of more than 100 migrants have washed up on a Libyan beach as a new migrant boat tragedy unfolded in the Mediterranean south of Greece on June 3.

The spokesman for Libya’s Red Crescent said the death toll of migrants has reached 107, including 40 women and five children. All but a few are from African countries.

Mohammed al-Mosrati told The Associated Press on Friday that the condition of the bodies suggests they were not “decomposed and therefore have drowned within the past 48 hours.”

He said strong winds and currents push bodies of those who drowned from one place to the other and that it’s hard to give a definitive confirmation where they came from.

Col. Ayoub Gassim also told The Associated Press that Libyan coast guards found the empty boat on Thursday and that it’s possible the boat capsized a day earlier on Wednesday.

With warmer weather and seas, smugglers have been packing migrants into unseaworthy boats by the tens of thousands, launching off from North Africa across the Mediterranean Sea to try to reach Europe.

The discovery of the bodies off Zwara is the latest in a string of tragedies that have already claimed more than 1,000 lives the last 10 days as desperate migrants embark on treacherous sea journeys seeking a better life in Europe.

Story by Associated Press