GENEVA – At least 90 people were feared to have drowned on Friday after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Libya, the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration said.
According to Olivia Headon from the IOM, 10 bodies washed up on the shores of Libya and two survivors managed to swim to safety, while another was rescued by a fishing boat.
Headon said eight of the dead and many of the missing were believed to be from Pakistan.
Survivors told the IOM that the boat sank off the coast of the northwestern city of Zuwara for unknown reasons.
The number of Pakistani people trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe has grown considerably in the last few months, said Headon.
In January, 240 Pakistani nationals attempted the journey, while in the same month last year there were only nine.
At least 6,624 people have arrived in Europe through Mediterranean routes so far this year and another 246 have died attempting the crossing in Jan., according to IOM figures.