MOSCOW, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – A boat with 170 African migrants bound for Europe has sunk off of the Libyan coast, a spokesman for the Libyan navy said, as reported by Reuters.
"The coast guards have rescued 17 of the illegal migrants," Ayoub Qassem said, reports Rueters. The Libyan navy is conducting a search for the surviving passengers.
According to Al Jazeera, at least 20 bodies have been recovered so far. "We found 16 individuals alive, the rest are lost. We are investigating the rest. There were 20 bodies, found dead in the water," said Libyan coast guard member Abdel Latif Mohamed.
Libya is a popular place for illegal migrants to begin their journey to Europe and is still facing conflict in the wake of Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow and death.