Tripoli (February 15, 2018): At least 23 people have been killed when a truck carrying hundreds of refugees and migrants overturned in northwestern Libya.
Somali and Eritrean nationals were reportedly among those killed in Wednesday’s road accident, which occurred some 60km south of the town of Bani Walid.The accident also left at least 124 people injured, 35 of whom needed to be urgently transported to hospitals in the Libyan capital.
Bani Walid is located 180km southeast of Tripoli. The truck was carrying an estimated 300 people, according to local reports.
In recent years, Libya has become a major transit point for refugees and migrants undertaking the dangerous journey to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), up to 90 percent of people crossing the Mediterranean towards Europe depart from Libya.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that up to one million individuals fleeing their homes are currently residing in Libya.
Last year, nearly 120,000 people arrived in European Union countries, having traveled through the Mediterranean from North Africa, according to IOM.