A security source dead were migrants caught in a dispute between two rival groups of people smugglers in the northwest city of Sabratha, a major hub for illegal migration across the Mediterranean.
Pictures shared on social media, which Reuters was not immediately able to verify, showed a burning boat on a beach with dark smoke pouring from it and what appeared to be the same vessel, scorched inside and containing charred human remains.
Since the 2011 NATO-backed uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has had little peace, and much of the country is controlled on the ground by rival armed factions.
The country has become a major transit point for migrants seeking to travel to Europe in search of a better life.
But international agencies warn they face many dangers there.