Almost 100 migrants were rescued off Libya's west coast yesterday as they made failed attempts to reach Europe, while around 20 were missing, AFP reporters and the coastguard said.
People traffickers have thrived amid the lawlessness that followed the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011, making the North African country an important conduit for migrants seeking safety and a better life in Europe.
The Libyan coastguard rescued the mostly African migrants as they attempted perilous sea crossings to Italy and brought them to a naval base in the capital Tripoli.
The survivors included six women and two children. Two people in critical condition were transported to hospital in the Libyan capital.
More than 1,200 migrants and asylum-seekers died while crossing the Mediterranean in 2020, according to the IOM. On Saturday, German charity Sea-Watch said it had saved nearly 150 migrants off the Libyan coast in two operations.