04:14 GMT20 January 2021
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    As many as 97 people are missing after a boat carrying more than 100 migrants sank off the Libyan shore, a spokesman of the Libyan coast guard told Sputnik.

    TRIPOLI (Sputnik) – According to spokesman Ayoub Qassem, the vessel carrying 126 people sank on Wednesday 26 miles away from the lighthouse of Tajura and was spotted by a tanker which alerted the coastguard. As many as 29 people were rescued by the tanker.

    "The coast guard … is looking for the remaining missing persons, the number of whom is estimated at 97," Qassem said.

    Europe is currently struggling to cope with a massive refugee influx, with hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the UN refugee agency, the Mediterranean Sea claimed over 3,600 lives last year.

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