Aid organization Red Crescent recovered dead bodies of 74 refugees off the shore of Libya’s western city of Zawiya on Tuesday. The heart-rending incident follows days after the European Union leaders approved a controversial plan to tide the flow of migrants from the African nation.
The refugee deaths along the Libya-Italy route across the Mediterranean Sea has seen a dramatic surge recently, with about 300 migrants reported dead in 2017 so far, notes Al Jazeera.
Mohammed al-Misrati, the aid organization’s spokesman, said that the circumstances of the drowning remained unclear, writes the Guardian.
Earlier, the E.U. draw flak from humanitarian agencies after it agreed to a proposal that sought to fund the Libyan government to launch operations for preventing the refugee boats from crossing territorial waters. Critics say such measures leave the migrants open to further exploitation by people smugglers as well as force them to take greater risks.