TRIPOLI: At least five migrants died and an unknown number were feared missing after their boat capsized off western Libya on Monday, Libyan coast guard officials and a charity said.
The rubber boat was carrying about 140 people when it overturned close to the border between Libyan and international waters, Libyan officials said. The Libyan coast guard rescued 45 survivors and brought them back to Tripoli harbor.
Seawatch, a German non-governmental organization that has a rescue vessel in the Mediterranean, said at least five migrants had died including a toddler. Seawatch rescued 58 people, the group said in a statement.
The survivors brought to Tripoli were from West African countries including Nigeria and Senegal.
On Sunday, the UN refugee agency said the bodies of 26 female migrants who apparently drowned have arrived at the Italian port of Salerno as rescues intensified on the Mediterranean Sea.
The bodies were transferred to the Italian mainland aboard a Spanish naval ship carrying another 400 migrants rescued during four operations in the central Mediterranean.