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Around 20 Feared Dead as Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya's Coast

  • VOA News

FILE - In this four-picture combo, people try to jump in the water as their boat overturns off the Libyan coast, May 25, 2016. Another boat capsized Thursday.

FILE - In this four-picture combo, people try to jump in the water as their boat overturns off the Libyan coast, May 25, 2016. Another boat capsized Thursday.

Around 20 people are feared dead after a migrant boat capsized Thursday off Libya's coast. Officials say more than 80 people were rescued in the second such incident in two days.

The Libyan coast guard reported that four bodies were found floating in the Mediterranean along with two empty boats, suggesting that more people drowned as smugglers take advantage of the warm weather to transport a larger number of migrants to Europe on unsafe vessels.

Separately, a Libyan navy spokesman tells the Associated Press that the coast guard rescued more than 760 migrants who were found in two groups, one of which was near the western city of Sabratha and the other off Zwara.

For its part, the Italian navy released images of another rescue mission of passengers from an overturned shipwreck Wednesday, also off Libya's coast, with about 500 migrants. The Italians confirmed that five people were found dead.

The Italian navy’s patrol ship Bettica brought the survivors to the Sicilian port, where Italian Red Cross crews assisted them.

Meanwhile, Greek authorities said Thursday that they have completed the evacuation of Idomeni, the country's biggest informal refugee and migrant camp on the Macedonian border.

Greek police said about 800 people were transported by bus to official shelters in other parts of northern Greece.

Just before the evacuation, Idomeni had 8,400 migrants, according to official figures, and hosted some 14,000 people at its peak, after Balkan border closures.

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