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117 bodies retrieved in migrant boat capsize off Libya

A member of the Libyan coastguard checks a rescue boat Credit: Reuters

The bodies of 117 migrants - most of them women - have washed up on a beach off the coast of Libya, say the Libyan arm of the Red Crescent.

It said in a statement on Facebook that workers removed 117 bodies - 75 of them women, and six children - from the beach near the city of Zwara, and that they were still looking for more.

Earlier on Friday, Navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim had said that 104 bodies had been found in waters off Zwara but the death toll was expected to rise as the type of boat involved usually carries up to 125 people.

He blamed Europe for "doing nothing but counting bodies" to stop the massive illegal migration from Libya.

The news comes hours after a major rescue operation was launched when another boat loaded with hundreds of people sunk off the Greek island of Crete today.

More than 300 people have been saved and at least three deaths have been confirmed in the latest incident.

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