Libya to repatriate bodies of Pakistani refugees

Libya to repatriate bodies of Pakistani refugees

TRIPOLI: The bodies of around a dozen Pakistani refugees who drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea will be sent back to Pakistan, Libyan officials say.
The PressTV report cited a hospital official as saying that the bodies of 12 Pakistanis who died in the incident were recovered and brought to a morgue in the capital Tripoli, awaiting repatriation.
An estimated 90 migrants drowned off the coast of Libya after a smuggler’s boat capsized early on Friday last week, leaving three known survivors and 10 bodies washed up on shore, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) had said.
The Foreign Office spokesman had said that those eight identified include Ikram-ul-Haque and Muammad Qasim Baigh from Mandi Bahauddin, Rehmat Khan, Muhammad Ismail, Azmat Bibi and Luqman Ali from Gujrat, Mirza Ghulam Fareed from Rawalpindi and Muhammad Aziz from Sarghdha.
He said those five identified by their friends include Muhammad Farhan and Muhammad Tanzil from Mandi Bahauddin and Kashif Jameel from Gujrat while the residency of two others Mr. Shah and Mr. Waleed is unknown.
According to the report, Pakistanis are the third largest group, after Eritreans and Tunisians, who make up a growing number of those attempting the hazardous voyage across the Mediterranean to Italy from North Africa.
In November last year, the United Nations migration agency said more than 33,000 refugees had died at sea while trying to reach European shores since 2000, making the Mediterranean “by far the world’s deadliest border.”
Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities – under pressure from Italy and the European Union – have begun to block departures.
More than 600,000 people are believed to have made the journey from Libya to Italy over the past four years.


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