Tripoli The bodies of 13 migrants who died of suffocation have been recovered from a shipping container in western Libya, the Red Crescent said on Thursday.The migrants appear to have been locked in the container for several days as it was transported to the coast at Khoms, where they were to attempt to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe, the Red Crescent said in a statement.Fifty-six migrants were rescued from the container, some suffering from serious injuries and fractures, the statement said.Libya has become the main gateway for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. A record 181,000 migrants reached Italy along the route last year.
Within Libya, migrant smugglers operate with impunity, and migrants are subjected to a wide range of abuses, including rape, torture and forced labour.
Earlier this week the bodies of 74 migrants were found on the shore near Zawiya, west of Tripoli. The local coastguard said smugglers had stolen the engine from their boat.
(Writing by Aidan Lewis; editing by Richard Lough)
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Updated Date: Feb 23, 2017 23:32:13 IST