By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 11 March 2017:
A people-smuggler once told this newspaper that he saw himself as being no different from an airline. Both ferried people from one place to another.
However, the level of customer service among Libyan smugglers was never very good. Now it appears to have become actively murderous. The Libyan Red Crescent has confirmed the discovery of the bodies of 22 sub-Saharan migrants on a Sabrathan beach.
The International Organisation for Migration has told AFP that it had received reports that the migrants had been gunned down by the human-trafficking gang handling them after they had refused to board a craft because of high seas and strong winds. The murders happened last weekend.
This crime may be part of an emerging pattern. Ten days ago, the Sabratha Security Directorate reported the discovery of 15 bodies in shallow graves in woodland near the town. It appears that they too had been shot. They were exhumed and reburied in a burial ground to the south of Sabratha which until now has largely been used to inter drowning victims washed up on neighbouring beaches.