Dozens of migrants are feared missing, after the boat they were travelling in sank off the coast of Libya, according to a statement by the country’s naval forces.
Dozens of migrants were feared missing after their boat sank off Libya on Wednesday, a spokesman for the country’s naval forces said, amid signs of a sharp increase in the number of people attempting the dangerous crossing from North Africa to Europe.
Earlier Italian officials said their coast guard and navy vessels had rescued 1,361 migrants on Wednesday from boats and rubber dinghies in the southern Mediterranean.
The Libyan spokesman, Ayoub Qassem, said naval guards had intercepted one boat carrying 120 migrants off the coast near Sabratha and had also managed to rescue 32 from the boat which sank. It was not known exactly how many people were missing.
More than 16,000 people have made the crossing from north Africa to Italy in the first three months of 2016, some 6,000 more than in the same period last year.