23:36 GMT +320 May 2019
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    Migrants and refugees are assisted by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as they crowd aboard a boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea about 21 miles north of Sabratha, Libya, on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. European Union leaders are poised to take a big step on Friday in closing off the illegal migration routes from Libya across the central Mediterranean, where thousands have died trying to reach the EU, the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said.

    At Least 70 Migrants Drown, Dozens Missing Off Tunisia as Boat Sinks - Reports

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    On 1 May, the Libyan Navy said that its Coast Guard has rescued 96 migrants who were trying to reach Europe illegally.

    At least 70 migrants drowned on Friday after their boat capsized and sank in Tunisian waters; in the aftermath of the incident, 16 were rescued by fishermen, according to Tunis Afrique Presse agency.

    The death toll could rise, since recovery of bodies is still ongoing, the local media noted.

    However, later in the day, the AFP news agency presented a different data, on which it stated, citing Tunisian officials, that only three migrants died following the deadly boat incident.

    This comes after last week, the Libyan Coast Guard stated that it has saved over 90 migrants who were attempting to reach Europe illegally.

    The European Union has been experiencing a large-scale migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Related:

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    Escalated Clashes in Libya Pose Threat to Oil Production – National Oil Corp.
    Over 32,000 People Flee Tripoli as Libya Conflict Rages - UN Refugees Agency
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    death toll, Migrant Crisis, Tunisia
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