New migrant drownings off Libya round off deadliest-ever year
The bodies of eleven asylum seekers were found washed up on beaches near Tripoli on Wednesday, as 900 people were rescued along the Libyan coast in one day.
Libya's Red Crescent reported that its volunteers recovered the bodies in the residential areas of Hay al-Andalus and as-Sayyad.
The rescue charity, SOS Mediterranee, rescued 400 people from three dilapidated wooden boats before taking them to be registered in Sicily.
Libya has become a major port of departure for asylum seekers trying to cross over to Europe, due in part to a massive growth in organised crime.
A recent report, published by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, found that organised crime gangs in Agadez, Niger and Sicily were involved in pushing hundreds of thousands of people into European crime syndicates in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars.
UNHCR declared 2016 the deadliest year ever for those trying to cross the Mediterranean in October. By that point, 3,800 people had died.
Today, the International Organization for Migration has recorded 4913 people dead or missing in trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2016. The vast majority of these, 4410 people, made the crossing from the central Mediterranean.
Many of the bodies of those missing are never found, but some do wash ashore in Libya and Italy.
Translation: The Red Crescent team recovers a number of bodies (11) from the shores of Hay al-Andalus and al-Sayyad in the Libyan capital, Tripoli - acting on a tip-off and appeal that reached the Libyan Red Crescent stakeholders.