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Spokesman: 90 Migrants Believed Dead Off Libyan Shore

Migrants are crowded on to the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya in this Oct. 4, 2016 image taken from video.

The spokesman for the Libyan navy says more than 90 migrants are believed dead after their rickety boat was damaged shortly after leaving the Libyan coast.

Ayoub Gassim said the coast guard has rescued 29 survivors, who said the plastic boat ripped and began filling with water about 26 miles (42 kilometers) off the Libyan coast, in international waters.

He said that a total of 126 migrants were in the boat, mostly African nationals. The migrants left Tajoura, in western Libya, before dawn Wednesday morning, and the coast guard received a call for help around 3 p.m.

The death toll for migrants in the Mediterranean has reached at least 3,800 this year so far, making 2016 the deadliest year ever for migrants in the Mediterranean.