Nine African migrants drown crossing the Mediterranean from Libya on rubber boat
The bodies of nine African migrants have been found at sea off the coast of Libya by rescuers. 500 survivors in total were pulled to safety.
Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, which was took part in the rescues, said the bodies had been recovered by the Santa Lucia merchant ship.
“We are here to stop more people drowning, today eight dead and four drifting boats” in distress, Proactiva’s founder Oscar Champs said on Twitter.
The charity said there were 79 women and 39 minors including four young children – among those rescued.
“The Aquarius crew supported our colleagues from Proactiva Open Arms in a transfer of over 100 rescued people yesterday. We found 9 dead refugees at the bottom of the rubber dinghy – 5 young men and three women. They were probably crushed inside the boat. One of the dead is the mother of a 2-year-old child, who is among the rescued aboard the Golfo Azzurro. As requested by the rescue coordination centre in Rome, we took the dead bodies aboard.”
Nearly 95,000 people have been brought to safety in Italy this year, according to the interior ministry.
At least 2,385 migrants have died during the perilous crossing since January, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.