Rabat- As many as 90 migrants are feared dead after a migrant boat capsized off the Libyan coast near the city of Zuara on Friday, reported the United Nations migration agency.
The majority of the migrants were from Pakistan, three survivors have told aid workers. Two of the three survivors were able to swim to the shore, while the third was rescued by a fishing boat.
The tragedy occurred when the overloaded boat carrying the migrants capsized, according to Olivia Headon, a spokesperson of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In 2016, nearly 171,000 asylum seekers arrived in Italy via boats and rafts, according to statistics from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
In recent years, thousands of migrants, including Moroccans, have traveled to Libya in order to reach Europe via the Mediterranean. Many, though, remain trapped in dire conditions in detention centers across Libya. International outrage followed reports last year that some migrants had been sold in slave markets.
In December 2017, several videos taken by detained Moroccans were widely shared on social media, revealing the horrific conditions they faced in Libyan prisons. The trapped migrants cried for help and urged the Moroccan government to take immediate action to bring them back home. Hundreds were eventually repatriated in December following the efforts and intervention by King Mohammad VI.