The Libyan Navy on Wednesday said as many as 100 migrants have gone missing after their boat sank off the coast of Libya.
The Libyan coastguard rescued 17 people from the boat that sank off the town of al-Khoms east of the Libyan capital Tripoli. The survivors clung to the wreckage of the vessel until they were saved.
“Unfortunately, there are a large number of missing people ranging from 90 to 100 illegal migrants from the boat,’’ the navy said in a statement.
According to the navy, the Libyan coastguard saved a total of 279 shipwrecked migrants in three incidents, including those from the al-Khoms boat.
The International Organisation for Migration estimated that 2,832 migrants died in 2017 trying to reach Italy from North Africa, down from 4,581 in 2016.