Sixty-five migrants’ bodies found in Libya mass grave, says IOM

By Thomson Reuters Mar 22, 2024 | 11:16 AM

(Reuters) -At least 65 migrants’ bodies have been discovered in a mass grave in southwest Libya, the International Organization for Migration said on social media platform X on Friday.

IOM said in a statement the circumstances of the migrants’ death and nationalities was unknown “but it is believed that they died in the process of being smuggled through the desert.”

Libya has turned into a transit route for migrants fleeing conflict and poverty to Europe following the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.

In an unverified message on Facebook, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the interior ministry in Tripoli on Wednesday posted drone footage of a desert area, showing white markings and yellow tape around the remains of bodies with numbers on them.

The CID said the bodies were found in al-Jahriya valley in Al Shuwairf town, about 421 km (262 miles) south of Tripoli.

The department said that after taking DNA samples, all the bodies were buried in a cemetery on instructions from the attorney general of the appeals chamber in Gharyan town.

(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Editing by Hugh Lawson, William Maclean)