As many as 100 bodies have washed ashore in Libya, 10km (6 miles) miles from Tripoli, according to the Malta-based non-profit The Migrant Report. A local official told the organization that the bodies, found in the sea and on the shore, are believed to be migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, victims of a shipwreck off the city of Tajoura, a transit point for migrants on their way to Europe.
The Migrant Report cited a statement from Tripoli’s immigration authority, who did not confirm the exact numbers or their nationality, but he said the bodies were being transferred to a hospital in the capital.
The European migrant crisis has reached record proportions, with 137,000 people crossing the Mediterranean to flee war, persecution, and poverty in the first six months of 2015. Libya is a common transit point—where many migrants get stuck in the country’s detention centers—and last week 12 people died when a rubber boat on its way to Europe sank off the Libyan coast.
If numbers from today’s events are confirmed, it would be the largest single tragedy since the sinking of a another ship off the coast of Libya, when more than 800 migrants died. That tragedy prompted EU leaders to launch a renewed effort to monitor and deter human smugglers based in Libya.