At least 90 migrants feared dead off Libya's coast

At least 90 migrants feared dead off Libya's coast

At least 90 migrants feared dead off Libya's coast

Ninety migrants are feared drowned after a boat capsized off the Libyan coast, says the UN's migration agency.

There were just three survivors, International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokeswoman Olivia Headon told a press conference in the United Nations at Geneva via phone.

According to survivors' testimony, 90 migrants - mostly Pakistanis - drowned in the accident, Headon said.

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The bodies of two Libyans and eight Pakistanis are reported to have washed up on Libyan shores, while three people are thought to have survived, she added.

The agency has repeatedly issued warnings over the extreme dangers facing migrants who try to reach Europe via the so-called central Mediterranean route, which connects Libya to Italy.

Among the dead are two Libyans and eight Pakistani nationals.

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"They could have been smugglers", he told AFP.

The number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the western Mediterranean Sea to Europe this year is likely to increase, after 2017 closed with more than twice the traffic of the previous year, warned Europe's border watchdog last month.

Over the last four years, more than 600,000 people are believed to have made the journey from Libya to Italy.

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