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Libyans collect the bodies of drowned migrants

28 August 2015, 18:17

Vienna — Here are the latest developments Friday regarding the tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe.


11:55 a.m.

Authorities in the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara are collecting the bodies of migrants who drowned off the coast in their desperate quest to reach Europe.

An Associated Press photographer saw workers on Friday pulling out bodies floating in the water and loading other bodies in orange bags onto the back of a pickup truck. It was not clear how many migrants had drowned.

Dozens of barely seaworthy smugglers' boats packed with migrants are launched from lawless Libya each week, mainly heading to Italy. On Wednesday, authorities found the bodies of 51 migrants who had been trapped in the hull of one migrant boat north of Libya. Another 439 people from that boat were rescued.

Migrants from the Middle East, Africa and Asia are flooding into Europe this year in unprecedented numbers.


11:40 a.m.

Austrian police investigating the deaths of 71 migrants found in truck along a main highway say they likely suffocated to death.

Hans Peter Doskozil, chief of police in Austria's eastern Burgenland province where the tragedy occurred, gave both the death toll and the cause of death Friday at a news conference in the city of Einsenstadt.

He also said Hungarian police detained seven suspects in the case overnight and early Friday, then arrested three of them. He said two of the suspects are Bulgarians, while the third has Hungarian identity papers.

He said a Syrian travel document was found among the bodies, which suggests that at least some of the 59 men, eight women and four children who died were fleeing the violence in that nation.


11:30 am

Austrian police say three people have been arrested in connection with the deaths of 71 migrants found in a food struck on an Austrian highway.

The toll includes eight women and four children, one of them an infant.

The death toll and the arrests were announced at a news conference Friday, a day after the vehicle was found on the main highway between Vienna and Budapest, Hungary.

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- AP


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