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Pakistan’s foreign ministry has confirmed that up to 11 citizens from the country are among migrants who drowned after a boat capsized off Libya’s coast.
Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal told The Associated Press that Pakistani diplomats had reached Libya’s coastal area to collect more details. He said that Pakistani authorities will try to bring back the bodies of Pakistanis killed in the tragedy.
The U.N. migration organization says its partner agencies are reporting that about 90 migrants are feared to have drowned in the capsizing and that the boat was carrying mostly Pakistani migrants.
But Faisal dispelled the impression that most of the drowned migrants were Pakistanis, saying only 11 Pakistanis died.
PARIS (AP) 11:25 p.m.
Serbian authorities say they have removed dozens of migrants from Belgrade’s streets and transferred them to migrant centres.
Authorities said in a statement that there have been no incidents during the early Friday raid in the Serbian capital. A video published by Serbian media showed migrants coming out of a run-down building and being moved onto a bus.
About 4,000 migrants remain stuck in Serbia trying to move on toward wealthy European Union nations. Many have been trying to illegally cross the borders with neighbouring EU nations Croatia and Hungary, with the help of smugglers.
The U.N.’s migration agency says its partner agencies are reporting that 90 people are feared drowned after a smuggler’s boat carrying mostly Pakistani migrants has capsized off Libya’s coast.
International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon says 10 bodies have washed ashore near the Libyan town of Zuwara following the tragedy early Friday. Eight were believed to be Pakistani, and two Libyans.
Headon, speaking by phone from Tunisia’s capital to reporters at the U.N. in Geneva, said initial indications were that the boat became unbalanced.
She said Pakistani nationals have been taking an increasing share among the number of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Italy and Europe via Libya.
Meanwhile, police reinforcements are arriving in the French port city of Calais after clashes among migrants left 22 people injured, as the interior minister warned of a worrying spike in violence.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters in Calais on Friday that five of the victims were injured by gunfire in Thursday’s fighting, blaming “totally organized” gangs. Police are seeking a shooting suspect but have made no arrests.
Collomb said two extra police units were en route and warned of growing tensions in Calais, where migrants converge in hopes of crossing to Britain.
Authorities said that Afghan and Eritrean migrants had been fighting with sticks and stones after a meal distribution before the shots were fired. Firearms are rare among migrants.
The government closed a vast Calais migrant camp in 2016.
Reported by AFP.