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97 missing after asylum seeker boat sinks off Libya

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At least 97 people are missing and believed to have drowned after their Europe-bound boat sank in the Mediterranean Sea on Thursday, according to the Libyan coast guard.

Spokesman Ayoub Qassem said 23 migrants were rescued around 10 kilometers off the coast of Tripoli after authorities received a distress call. Fifteen women and five children are among those still missing.

The boat, which was packed with African nationals seeking asylum in Europe, “completely collapsed”, he said.

The survivors, all men, were found clinging to a flotation device.

Those who had disappeared were “probably dead”, Qassem said, adding that bad weather had prevented the recovery of their bodies.

Libya has become a key departure point for people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Hailing mainly from sub-Saharan countries, most of the asylum seekers board boats operated by people traffickers in the country’s west, heading for the Italian island of Lampedusa 300 kilometres away.

Since the beginning of this year, at least 590 people have died or gone missing along the Libyan coast, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said in late March.

In 2016, more than 5,000 people lost their lives at sea – an annual record – as they undertook perilous journeys to escape war, poverty, and persecution. In 2015, at least 3,771 refugees died while crossing the Mediterranean, up from 3,279 deaths the year before.

More than 24,000 asylum seekers arrived to Italy from Libya during the first three months of the year, up from 18,000 in the same period last year, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The German government on Thursday said it would support a ban on the export of boats from the European Union to Libya as part of measures to stem the flow of people across the Mediterranean.

In February, EU leaders inked a deal to give $215mn to Libya’s fragile government to stop migrant boats in the country’s territorial waters.

24 Hours Across Africa

Liverpool maintain perfect start after beating Chelsea

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Alexander Arnold’s 15th minutes thounderous strike and Firmino effort at Stamford bridge earn Liverpool five points lead over Manchester city.

Liverpool are the first team to win their opening six Premier League games in successive seasons.

After an intensed play, Chelsea have a goal rule out over Var decision, on 71th minutes Ngolo konte score a hard fought goal.

Liverpool fans has loud Adrian over his resilience performance after saving chances from Tammy Abraham, Michy Batshuayi and Mason Mount.

 

 

 

 

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Health & Lifestyle

WHO accused Tanzania of hiding information on Ebola victims

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Ebola virus has cause major loss of life and socioeconomic disruption in Africa.

The number of cases has began to decline gradually, following the commitment of substantial international resources.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rebuked Tanzania for failing to provide information about possible Ebola virus infections.

The WHO said it had learned of one suspected fatal case in Dar es Salaam and two others but, despite repeated requests, was given no information

Tanzania has said it has no suspected or confirmed cases.

The latest outbreak has killed more than 2,000 in eastern DR Congo, with Uganda battling to stop any spread.

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