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100 African migrants drown off Libyan coast

August 25, 2014

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — At least 100 African migrants trying to reach Europe have drowned off the coast near the capital, Tripoli, an official with Libya’s coast guard said Monday.

The migrants were found off the shores of al-Qarbouli, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Tripoli, coast guard official Abdel-Latif Ibrahim said. Their boat, which carried over 250 migrants, capsized late Friday, he said. The Libyan coast guard had been looking for survivors and earlier rescued 16 people, he said.

Five of the victims were children, he said.

The migrants, mostly African nationals, were heading to Europe on a perilous journey that kills scores of people every year.

Libya has grown increasingly lawless since the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moammar Gadhafi, making it a migration hub for sub-Saharan Africans seeking a better life.

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