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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.


Macedonia police fire teargas as migrants storm border

Macedonian police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of migrants and refugees who stormed the border with Greece, tearing down a security gate.

The crowd chanted "open the border" before some used wooden stakes to push through the border gates as frustrations boiled over at restrictions imposed on people moving through the Balkans.

Police fired several rounds of teargas into the crowds at the crossing next to Idomeni camp, the main transit point for refugees travelling towards western Europe where close to 10,000 are stranded.

Macedonia's strict controls allowing just a few hundred to enter the country over the weekend has not been enough to alleviate the influx of new arrivals.

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