Over 200 feared dead after migrant boats capsize off Libyan coast

The International Organization for Migration says the two boats involved in the latest tragedy had departed from the Libyan coast on Saturday.

(File photo) In the second such tragedy in the past three days, 200 migrants are feared dead after their boats capsized
(File photo) In the second such tragedy in the past three days, 200 migrants are feared dead after their boats capsized

More than 200 migrants are dead after the motorboats they were travelling on sank in the Mediterranean Sea, the UN's refugee agency says.

"Nine were saved after four days at sea. The other 203 were swallowed by the waves," UNHCR's spokeswoman in Italy, Carlotta Sami, said on Twitter.

She called the situation a "horrible and enormous tragedy".

On Monday, at least 29 migrants died after the inflatable boat carrying them overturned in high seas.

Seven were already dead when they were picked up near the Italian island of Lampedusa, and a further 22 succumbed to hypothermia after spending more than 18 hours on the open deck of the vessel which picked them up.

The International Organization for Migration says the two boats involved in the latest tragedy had departed from the Libyan coast on Saturday.

The IOM says that each boat was carrying more than 100 people when they capsized, probably on Monday.

The nine survivors all speak French, and are believed to be from West Africa.

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