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74 migrant bodies wash ashore off western Libyan coast
The Libyan Red Crescent said that the bodies of 74 migrant refugees washed ashore off the coast of Zawiya city in western Libya, 45 km west of the capital Tripoli.
"Based on a humanitarian call from locals to our branch, a group of volunteers headed to Al-Zawiya beach and recovered 74 bodies," The Libyan Red Crescent posted on its Facebook page.
Spokesperson Mohamed Al-Misrati said that the migrants likely drowned in the last two days.
Al-Mistari added that the migrants are predominantly women the majority of whom are from Sub-Saharan African countries.
Libya is a preferred departure point for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean towards European shores.
Smugglers abuse Libya's chaotic and insecure state and traffic thousands of migrants in rickety boats, most of whom drown along the way.
Over 181 thousand migrants crossed the Mediterranean into Italian shores from Libya in 2016, with over 4,500 presumed to have drowned.
[Source: Xinhua, Tripoli, 21Feb17]
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