03:44 GMT11 August 2020
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    A small vessel heading for European shores capsized off the northern coast of Libya overnight, with scores of bodies reportedly washing ashore later and 49 out of as many as 700 on board rescued.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Nigel Farage, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for next month's elections, blamed the incumbent prime minister Sunday for the surge in Europe-bound migrant boats, the latest display of which may have lead to nearly 700 deaths, the Telegraph reported.

    "There were no migrants coming in these quantities before we bombed the country, got rid of [ Libya's longtime leader Muammar] Gaddafi, however bad he might have been, and destabilized the whole situation."

    The Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and the British Army took part in a 2011 NATO campaign that overthrew Gaddafi and led to his murder. Fighting continues to date and several insurgent groups, including offshoots of the Islamic State, have capitalized on the power vacuum left in the wake of the crisis.

    "It was the European response that caused this problem in the first place. The fanaticism of [then-French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and Cameron to bomb Libya… We ought to be honest and say we have directly caused this problem."

    His party campaigns on the platform of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union ahead of the May 7 General Election.

    "They have completely destabilized Libya, to turn it into a country with much savagery, to turn it into a place where for Christians the place is now virtually impossible," Farage said, adding that he was open to an idea of offering refugee status to "some Christians from those countries."

    This year alone 950 people perished while crossing the Mediterranean in search of refuge, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Italian coast guards rescued 11,000 people from shipwrecks in the Strait of Sicily over the past week.


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    migrants, UKIP, Muammar Gaddafi, Nigel Farage, Europe, Libya, Britain
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