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22 May 2024

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

20 found dead in Libya desert after vehicle breakdown: Rescuers

 Recovered bodies of migrants lie in bags in the area between Kufra city and Chadian border with Libya June 28, 2022.  - Courtesy of Kufra ambulance service head Ibrahim Belhasan /Handout via REUTERS

TRIPOLI: Twenty people were found dead in the Libyan desert following a vehicle breakdown near the border with Chad and were presumed to have died of thirst, rescuers said Wednesday.

A team "recovered 20 bodies found in the desert after their vehicle broke down," rescue services in the southeastern region of Kufra said in a statement.

The vehicle had come from neighbouring Chad and reached some 120 kilometres (75 miles) into Libyan territory before breaking down, the statement added.

"They all died of thirst," it said.

The service published a video on Facebook showing decomposing bodies in the desert sand near a pick-up truck.

The sparsely populated region regularly sees summer temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit).

Libya was plunged into lawlessness following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed dictator Moamer Kadhafi, and its southern borders with Chad, Niger and Sudan have become notorious for people trafficking and smuggling.

Thousands of people cross them every year in attempts to reach the Mediterranean coast and ultimately Europe, but many die en route, including in the harsh Sahara desert. — AFP

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