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Libya Finds 15 Bodies, Some Burned in Boat

FILE - Migrants wait to be rescued by the Spanish NGO Open Arms lifeguards during a rescue operation at international waters zone of Libya SAR (Search and Rescue) in the Mediterranean sea, Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

Libyan rescue workers say they have recovered at least 15 bodies on the coast in Sabratha, with some bodies found burned in a boat and others on the beach, a Red Crescent member said on Friday.

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.