By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 25 March 2016:
After a French minister said yesterday that there were 800,000 migrants waiting to leave Libya . . .[restrict]for European shores, Libyan coastguards today discovered 12 expectant travellers who would not be completing the trip.
A dozen bodies were found washed ashore on a beach near Garabulli. Coastguard Abdullatif Al-Munser told the Chinese news agency Xinhua that the bodies were badly decomposed. This led him to believe that the craft carrying them had sunk several days earlier. Munser also said that he thought it probable that the migrants had been trying to head for the Italian island of Lampedusa.
It is likely that the dead were victims of the storms that hit the Libyan coast this week. The expected winter drop in attempted crossings did not happen. The United Nations Commissioner for Refugees believes that so far this year around 100,000 migrants have managed to make the journey to Europe. Many of them have been picked by European warships patrolling in or close to Libyan territorial waters.
There are unconfirmed reports that some people-smugglers have not bothered to inflate rubber rafts completely nor provided enough fuel to allow them to travel any great distance. This may indicate that they expected the migrants to be rescued sooner rather than later. [/restrict]