Cairo ( Associated Press) — Libyan authorities on Saturday found at least 15 migrants dead in the desert on the border with Sudan, in the latest tragedy of migrants seeking a better life in Europe making the dangerous journey through the country.
To combat irregular migration, the department said in the southern city of Kufra that migrants were entering from Sudan when their vehicle broke down due to a lack of fuel.
The agency said nine other migrants survived, while two were missing in the desert. Women and children were also among the migrants, but the agency did not say how many. It also did not disclose the cause of the deaths, but indicated that the group did not have enough water or food.
He said all the migrants were from Sudan, a country plagued by years of conflict and instability. The migrants were almost certainly trying to reach western Libya to board smugglers bound for Europe.
The agency posted photos on Facebook that showed bodies believed to be migrants, who were later cremated in the desert.
The tragedy is most recent in the desert glass of Libya. In June, authorities in Kufra said they found the bodies of 20 migrants who had died of thirst near the border with Chad.
In recent years, Libya has emerged as a main transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East. The country was embroiled in the case in 2011 after a NATO-backed popular uprising overthrew autocrat Muammar Gaddafi.
Migrant smugglers have profited from the chaos, moving people across the country’s long borders with six countries. They are then forced to make the dangerous crossing of the Mediterranean Sea in precarious boats.