Yet more refugees have drowned while attempting passage across the Mediteranean sea from Libya to Europe.
Over 100 bodies including those of two children were washed ashore near the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara, a spokesman for the Libyan navy said on Friday.
Colonel Ayoub Gassim told the Associated Press (AP) that at least 107 refugees attempting to cross into Europe had drowned after their boat sank off the Libyan coast.
Libyan coast guards found an empty boat on Thursday and that it was possible the vessel had capsized the day before.
A spokesman for Libya’s Red Crescent, the international humanitarian movement closely affiliated with Red Cross, said that the
the bodies had not yet decomposed, indicating that they had drowned within the past 48 hours.
Hundreds more missing off Crete
Around 340 refugees were rescued from the sea 75 nautical miles off the southern coast of Crete, although at least four people were confirmed dead and many hundreds could still be missing.
The boat that capsized measured some 25 metres in length and can be assumed to have been carrying up to 700 migrants.
On Tuesday, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said that over 880 people had drowned in the Mediteranean in the past week.
Added to the latest numbers, this takes the death toll to over 1000 in recent days.
Bad weather has prevented authorities from intercepting boats making the crossing from North Africa to Italy. Departures have surged in recent months, with people smugglers charging hundreds of dollars for a place on vessels, which are often flimsy, inflatable crafts.