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Thursday Feb 08 2018

Boat tragedy: FIA confirms 28 Pakistanis confined in Libya


ISLAMABAD: The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) confirmed on Thursday that 28 Pakistani nationals have been confined in Libya after the tragic boat capsize incident, said a report released by the law-enforcing agency. 

The boat carrying the migrants capsized off the coast of Zuwara in the early hours of February 2, the International Organization for Migration had confirmed. 

"It has been learnt that 28 more Pakistanis are confined in Libya in a safe house in Zawiya district," said the FIA report. 

The agency further stated that some of the Pakistani nationals are in contact with their families. 

The report by FIA also requests the concerned quarters to rescue the Pakistanis and save them from further unfortunate events. 

An embassy official earlier said victims are mostly from Gujrat in northern Pakistan. 

The bodies of 12 Pakistanis who died in the incident have been recovered and brought to a morgue in the capital, Tripoli, awaiting repatriation.

Libya is the main gateway for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, though numbers have dropped sharply since July as Libyan factions and authorities - under pressure from Italy and the European Union - have begun to block departures.

Zuwara was a top departure point until a local backlash against smuggling in 2015.

So far this year, just over 3,500 migrants are recorded to have crossed from Libya to Italy, about 60 percent fewer than during the same period last year, according the Italian Interior Ministry.

Pakistanis are the third largest national group, after Eritreans and Tunisians.

Pakistanis resident in Libya for decades, many working in the gold business, have tried to leave because of the collapse in the value of the Libyan dinar and a severe liquidity crisis. Others have found their way to Libya through smuggling networks.

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