Dozens of Malians set off for Europe in a rubber dinghy. After nine days on the Mediterranean, they are picked up by the Libyan coast guard. At this point, one in four of them is already dead.
According to the United Nations, 22 Malians have died in another refugee drama off the Libyan coast. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the Libyan Coast Guard rescued 61 survivors from a rubber dinghy that had been in the Mediterranean for nine days.
"According to the survivors, 22 migrants died during the trip, all from Mali," said IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli. The victims were said to have drowned or died of thirst. "Among the dead are three children."
Some of the survivors were rescued in very poor health and taken to hospitals, Msehli said. The other survivors were taken to a Libyan detention center for migrants. The group of refugees began the crossing on June 22 in the Libyan port of Suwara near the border with Tunisia.
Crossing the central Mediterranean is considered the world's deadliest route for migrants and refugees. Nevertheless, every year tens of thousands dare to cross on often hardly seaworthy boats in the hope of a better life in Europe. According to the International Organization for Migration, almost 2,000 people died trying to cross the border last year or are missing.