At least two bodies were retrieved on Sunday off Libya’s Mediterranean coast after a boat carrying dozens of Europe-bound migrants including women and children capsized, the U.N. migration agency said, as the search for survivors continues.
The International Organization for Migration said the boat was carrying over 95 migrants and floundered off the coast of the western town of Garaboli, 60 kilometres east of the capital, Tripoli.
Ayoub Gassim, a spokesman for Libya’s coast guard, said the two dead were a woman and a child.
He added that at least 73 migrants so far, including eight children and 25 women, have been rescued and taken to a refugee camp in Tripoli.
He said that between five and 25 migrants remain missing as search efforts continue.
WATCH: ‘We kept floating in the water’: survivor of capsized Tunisia migrant boat (May 11)
Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees fleeing to Europe after the 2011 uprising that ousted and killed dictator Moammar Gadhafi. No Libyan government has been able to successfully control the entirety of the North African country since, amid years of violence and civil war.
Thousands have perished while making the perilous sea crossing, while others have been detained and abused in Libya by smugglers and armed groups.