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12 dead in shipwreck off Libya: UN

 TRIPOLI, Dec 6: At least 12 people died after a rubber boat which spent more than 10 days at sea capsized off Misrata, Libya, the UN migration agency has said, urging search and rescue operations to be stepped up in the Mediterranean.

Ten survivors were rescued and returned to Libya where they were treated by medical staff from the International Organisation for Migration, the UN agency said on Wednesday. Three other passengers from the boat remain missing, according to IOM.

"The survivors were all suffering from complete dehydration and exhaustion after being stranded at sea for days," said IOM physician Mohamed Abughalia. "People suffered from trauma, severe malnutrition and burns sustained from the boat's engine fuel."

Four people in need of emergency medical care were transferred to a private hospital in Tripoli, IOM said.

Six others were moved to detention centres tun by Libyan authorities, where IOM continues to provide medical care and adequate assistance including mental health and psychosocial support to the survivors. - IANS

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