Twenty African migrants are believed to have drowned off the coast of Libya when their boat sank as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, while more bodies washed ashore on Libyan beaches on Friday from a shipwreck earlier this week.
The latest shipwreck, a wooden boat that left from Surman in western Libya, is the fourth this week and brings the total death toll to more than 100 people, an International Organization for Migration spokeswoman said.
Some of the survivors were from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana and Burkina Faso.
Elsa Laino of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said three women had been rescued by local fishermen and were in a state of trauma.
“They saw their family and relatives die in front of them and now they are left alone in a country that is not safe,” she told Reuters.
Aid workers say that worsening treatment of sub-Saharan African migrants in Libya as well as relatively calm seas may have prompted the flurry of departures. Thousands of migrants leave sub-Saharan Africa every year on a perilous journey to Europe as they seek to escape conflict and poverty.