170 migrants sink off Libyan coast

A wooden boat, carrying approximately 170 African migrants attempting to reach Europe, has sunk off the coast of Libya.

A spokesman for the Libyan Navy, Ayoub Qassem, speaking to Sky News said: “The coast guards have rescued 17 of the illegal migrants.”

He added: “A search for the rest of the passengers is continuing.”

The boat sank on Friday near Qarabouli, east of Triploi, in high seas.

News Agency Reuters were told by a coast guard official that the alert had been raised about the stricken vessel in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The coast guard did not have any equipment with which to attempt a rescue so were forced to borrow fishing boats to try to save the people on board.

According to a coast guard official, because there was nowhere to detain the rescued migrants, they were released.

The number of migrant Africans sailing in unsuitable craft has been rising for a number of years.

So far in 2014, in excess of 100,000 migrants have reached the shores of Italy, according to the Italian government.

Euro Weekly News are waiting for updates and pictures.

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