At least 18 Egyptians drowned after a migrant boat carrying Egyptians and Syrians capsized off the coast of Libya

Photo: Security search operations on the coast of Tobruk for the lost bodies, Libya, 12 March 2022. Tobruk Coast Security Facebook page ©
Photo: Security search operations on the coast of Tobruk for the lost bodies, Libya, 12 March 2022. Tobruk Coast Security Facebook page ©

The security of the coasts of the Libyan city of Tobruk announced, on Saturday morning, that a boat carrying a group of irregular migrants sank off the “Umm Al-Shawsh Valley and the Ras Bayad resort” late Friday night.

Asriwa Saleh, executive director of the Transit Foundation for Migrants Assistance in Libya, said that the boat was carrying 23 migrants, including three Syrian nationals and twenty Egyptians. Three people were found alive and the rest were missing, and one person was found dead, and the search is still going on for nineteen people.

Saleh added: Bad weather has greatly affected the search for missing people. This is not the first or second time that boats have come out of the city bay and immigrants are being delusional that Europe is within walking distance.

Tobruk Coast Security called to “all citizens and fishermen to immediately report when any dead body is found on the beaches of the city of Tobruk or the neighbouring regions and municipalities.”

In the same context, a member of the Egyptian Parliament, Mustafa Bakri, wrote, “I do not know how long our youth will risk their lives. Yesterday, a boat sank in the Libyan region of Ras Bayad, which included 23 migrants, “unofficially emigrated” from Egyptians and Syrians, only three of them were rescued and lost twenty others, my condolences to our people in the two countries, I call on the government to take more measures that protect our youth from taking risks.”, on Twitter yesterday.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said at least 192 migrants drowned along the Central Mediterranean route in the first two months of 2022 and more than 2,930 were intercepted and returned to Libya. Once migrants return, they are usually escorted to government-run detention centres where abuse and ill-treatment are common.

In 2021, at least 32,425 migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya. According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 1,553 people are presumed to have drowned last year.

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