UPDATE 1-Twenty migrants drown in Libya shipwreck, fourth accident this week By Reuters

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UPDATE 1-Twenty migrants drown in Libya shipwreck, fourth accident this week By Reuters

* More than 100 die in 4 shipwrecks this week* Bodies, life jackets wash up on Libyan beaches* Toddler, baby among the deceased (Updates death toll, number of wrecks, adds reference to pix)By Emma FargeGENEVA, Nov 13 (Reuters) – Twenty African migrants arebelieved to have drowned off the coast of Libya when their boatsank as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, whilemore bodies washed ashore on Libyan beaches on Friday from ashipwreck earlier this week. The latest shipwreck, a wooden boat that left from Surman inwestern Libya, is the fourth this week and brings the totaldeath toll to more than 100 people, an InternationalOrganization for Migration spokeswoman said.Some of the survivors were from Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana andBurkina Faso. ​ Elsa Laino of Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) said threewomen had been rescued by local fishermen and were in a state oftrauma.”They saw their family and relatives die in front of themand now they are left alone in a country that is not safe,” shetold Reuters.Aid workers say that worsening treatment of sub-SaharanAfrican migrants in Libya as well as relatively calm seas mayhave prompted the flurry of departures. Thousands of migrantsleave sub-Saharan Africa every year on a perilous journey toEurope as they seek to escape conflict and poverty. Earlier this week, coastguards and Spanish charity Open Armswere involved in two other rescues where several migrantsdrowned. A video by Open Arms showed a Guinean mother crying outfor her six-month-old baby who died in one of the wrecks. On Thursday, a rubber dinghy crammed with more than 120people aboard that had left from the town of Khums capsized.”Staff in the region reported that more bodies continued towash ashore overnight,” IOM spokeswoman Safa Msehli told a briefing in Geneva. Fisherman and the coast guard had earlier recovered 31bodies from the first wreck, including a toddler.IOM Chief of Staff Eugenio Ambrosi sent a Tweet on Fridayshowing a picture of a tattered lifejacket which washed up on aLibyan beach.”Dusk of humanity,” he said, in an apparent commentary onthe insufficient efforts to prevent the loss of life.Survivors are being held in the city of Khums, Msehli said,calling on authorities to release them and provide protection toprevent them falling into the hands of smugglers andtraffickers.”The worsening humanitarian conditions of migrantsdetained in overcrowded centres, widespread arbitraryarrests and imprisonment, and extortion and abuse are alarming,”she said.MSF’s Laino said the lack of search and rescue teams in theMediterranean was contributing to the high death toll. More than 900 people have died this year attempting theMediterranean crossing to reach Europe. Thousands more have beenstopped at sea and returned to Libya where they are oftenvulnerable to exploitation and abuse.

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