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Nearly a dozen migrants suffocate in 'horrific' conditions off Libya coast

Nearly a dozen migrants suffocate in 'horrific' conditions off Libya coast
Doctors Without Borders said its rescue ship performed three rescues within a 24-hour period, and brought almost 200 migrants from Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria aboard the vessel. Photo courtesy Doctors Without Borders/Twitter

Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Nearly a dozen migrants who were crammed onto a wooden boat for hours ended up suffocating and were found off the coast of Libya, a medical charity said.

Doctors Without Borders said 10 people were found dead on the boat, which was packed with more than 100 migrants who were attempting to make it to Europe.

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A rescue ship picked up almost 100 of the migrants, some of whom showed signs of stress and trauma, the charity said.

"It took us almost two hours to retrieve them and to bring them on board, so they can have a dignified burial once arrived onshore," Doctors Without Borders search and rescue leader Fulvia Conte told The Guardian.

"It was horrific and infuriating at the same time. This is another tragedy at sea that could have been avoided."

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Volunteer-run rescue hotline Alarm Phone said a distress call came several hours earlier but was ignored by European authorities.

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Doctors Without Borders said its rescue ship performed three rescues within a 24-hour period, and brought almost 200 migrants from Guinea, Nigeria, Somalia and Syria aboard the vessel.

Officials estimate that more than 1,200 migrants have died so far this year trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, and almost 23,000 have died since 2014.

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