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50 bodies found in migrant boat off Libya's northern coast

Published 26/08/2015

The boat was rescued off Libya's northern coast
The boat was rescued off Libya's northern coast

Around 50 bodies have been found in the hull of a migrant boat rescued off Libya's northern coast.

The bodies add to the more than 2,400 people who have died at sea this year making the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to Europe.

Italy's coast guard said the Swedish ship Poseiden, which is taking part in the EU's Triton Mediterranean operation, rescued 439 people from the ship on Wednesday.

The rescue was one of 10 requests for assistance that arrived at the coastguard's operations centre as Libya-based smugglers take advantage of calm seas to send boats overloaded with migrants to Europe.

The toll was similar to the estimated 40 migrants who died, apparently from fuel fumes, on August 15.

Migrants by the tens of thousands are braving the perilous journey across the Mediterranean this year, hoping to reach Europe and be granted asylum. They are fleeing war, persecution and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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