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Dozens of migrants missing after boat sinks

BOAT TRAGEDY: Sixty-three people are reportedly missing at sea after their vessel sunk off the coast of Libya

DOZENS OF migrants are missing after the boat they were travelling in sank off the coast of Libya, local officials have announced.

One estimate is that 63 migrants are missing at sea after the tragic incident that took place on Sunday.

So far 41 people who were wearing life jackets have been rescued, general Ayoub Kacem, a spokesman for the Libyan Navy told AFP.

He said: "The coast guards did not find bodies in the area," he said.

It is believed that there could have been 104 people on the rubber boat before it sank off Garaboulli, east of Tripoli.

The incident is one of several that took place in the Mediterranean over the weekend.

Over the last few months, Tripoli has become a hotspot for inflatable vessels departing to attempt the dangerous journey to Europe.

IOM’s Libya chief of mission, Othman Belbeisi said: "There is an alarming increase in deaths at sea off Libya's coast.”

Since the beginning of this year, over 1,000 people have perished white attempting to sail from Libya to Europe by boat.

EU leaders decided on a new deal on migrants last week.

Under the plans, controlled centres will be created voluntarily by EU states and migrants whose immigration claims are denied will be “returned” back to their countries of origin.

Resettlement could take place for refugees in the EU states that accept them.

Last month, Spain took in 60 people who were rescued by charity Proactiva Open Arms. The ship carrying the migrants had been refused entry to Malta and Italy.

A standoff ensued between the two countries and after seven days at sea the boats passengers arrived at the Spanish port of Valencia.

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