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At least 239 migrants dead after two shipwrecks off Libyan coast


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At least 239 migrants dead after two shipwrecks off Libyan coast

Two shipwrecks off the coast of Libya have claimed the lives of at least 239 migrants.

The UN says many women and children are among the victims.

The tragedies come only weeks after 300 migrants were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard off the coast of Libya.

The latest victims, believed to be mostly from West Africa, were travelling in rubber dinghies.

The number of migrants known to have drowned in the Mediterranean so far this year now stands at more than 4,200, more than 500 more than for the whole of last year.

Experts are worried there is a new rush to make the dangerous crossings, with reports the Libyan coastguard will soon take over rescues and will take survivors back to Libya.

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