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Bodies of 85 African migrants, including 2 children wash up in the coastal town of Zuwara, Libya

The bodies of at least 85 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean were found washed up from the beaches of the coastal town of Zuwara, on Thursday afternoon, June 2, a Red Cross official said.

They are believed to be migrants who perished in a string of shipwrecks that took place inside Libyan waters late last week. Al-Khamis al-Bosaifi said most of the migrants appeared to be from sub-Saharan Africa, though their bodies were decomposed and it was not clear when they drowned. The bodies of two children were among those recovered.

The coastguard in town last week intercepted more than 450 migrants in four separate boats over Wednesday and Thursday. According to survivors of two of the boats which were deflated, more than 100 people had drowned.

Their deaths will add to a horrific tally from the last week of way, in which an estimated 900 to 1,000 migrants lost their lives at sea outside Libyan territorial waters.

A resident in Zuwara said that besides the bodies, empty dinghies are also washing up. They are believed to be vessels which would have been carrying migrants but are then abandoned following rescue operations.

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