Two Libya shipwrecks in a day cost almost 100 lives

Khoms, Libya: Twenty migrants have died in a shipwreck off the Libyan coast, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said, raising to almost 100 the death toll from two such Mediterranean tragedies the same day.

MSF teams in the northwestern city of Sorman "assisted three women as the lone survivors of another shipwreck (Thursday) where 20 people drowned", the group said Friday on Twitter.

"Rescued by local fishermen, they were in shock and terrified; they saw loved ones disappear beneath the waves, dying in front of their eyes," MSF said.

Earlier, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported "a devastating shipwreck which claimed the lives of at least 74 migrants today off the coast of Khoms", a port city east of Sorman.

It said 47 survivors had been brought back to shore and 31 bodies retrieved, adding that the boat was reported to be carrying more than 120 people.

Seven women were among the survivors, Mokhtar Salem Mohamed from Libya's interior ministry told AFP at a migrants centre in Khoms, some 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the capital Tripoli.

Bodies from that shipwreck were lined up grimly along the beach on Thursday, some still wearing life jackets.

Traumatised survivors sat in shock on the shore, while others huddled under blankets as aid workers distributed food parcels. - AFP