Egypt Watch

Over 15 Egyptians attempting to reach Italy drown off Libyan coast

On Sunday 15 Egyptians, including a woman and a child, drowned off Libya’s west coast. They were on board a boat carrying about 70 people destined for the Italian coast. The boat sunk off the coast of the Libyan city, Zawara, which is located 120 kilometres west of Tripoli.

The Libyan coastguard official said that 51 other refugees were rescued, while 18 Egyptian refugees died, while the International Organisation for Migration reported that 16 people, including a woman and a child, sunk and 48 people were rescued, according to its Missing Migrants project. Libya is considered a main passing point for thousands of people who try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe via the Italian coast, which is 300 kilometres from Libya.

According to the IOM, 20,257 immigrants were intercepted or rescued from the beginning of 2021 to the end of July. This is the same number of people who were intercepted and returned to Libya throughout the whole of the last year. The IOM added that the total deaths of asylum seekers to Europe across the Mediterranean doubled this year reaching up to 970 people, including 60 who passed away last month off the coast of Libya, in “a horrible incident.”