Boat sinks off Libya, killing at least 31

At least 31 migrants have died after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya on Saturday.

They had been trying to cross the Mediterranean along with another boat. Children were among the dead.

Some 60 people were rescued from the water and 140 picked up from the second boat.

Mild weather conditions and calm seas has led to a rise in the number of migrants leaving Libya for Europe in recent days.

Some 250 people were rescued by the Libyan coastguard on Thursday.Saturday’s sinking happened off the shores of Garabulli, a town some 37 miles (60 km) east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

“The first dinghy had capsized, it had sunk before we reached it,” Colonel Abu Ajala Abdelbari of Libya’s coastguard said.

He said the coastguard had gone to the scene “after hearing distress signals, and when they got there they found a group of people hanging on to the remainder of the dinghy, but the rest had died, they had spread out while the dinghy was sinking.”They have been taken taken to Tripoli’s naval base.

Other rescue operations were ongoing on Saturday evening, an Italian coastguard told the AFP news agency.

“The weather conditions these days are favourable for sending migrants to European shores on boats that are often unseaworthy,” Colonel Abu Ajala Abdelbari said.

Source: BBC