Saturday 24 February 2018

At least 19 migrants killed in Libya truck crash: hospital

At least 19 migrants killed in Libya truck crash: hospital
(AFP 02/14/18)

At least 19 migrants were killed on Wednesday and more than 100 injured when the truck transporting them crashed in Libya, a hospital said.

Over 300 migrants, mostly Eritrean and Somali nationals, were on board the vehicle which overturned near the town of Bani Walid.

A child was among the at least 19 migrants killed in the accident, the head of the town's hospital, Mohamad al-Mabrouk, told AFP.

The hospital, which had earlier given a toll of 23 dead, said at least 124 migrants were injured and it was struggling to cope.

"Several victims are even being treated on the ground," said spokesman Salah al-Twijer.

One of the injured migrants said the group had left Bani Walid for the coast to the north in a bid to cross the Mediterranean and reach Italy.

Speaking to AFP, he said 22 women and 10 children were among those on board the truck.

Since the 2011 overthrow and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, chaos-wracked Libya has become a key gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.

Bani Walid, on the edge of the desert 170 kilometres (110 miles) southeast of the capital Tripoli, is a transit point for migrants heading to the Mediterranean coast.

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