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Over 100 Migrants and Refugees Feared Drowned in Mediterranean Sea

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Over 100 Migrants and Refugees Feared Drowned in Mediterranean Sea

More than 100 Europe-bound migrants and refugees are feared drowned after the boat they were travelling in capsized off Libya's coast in the Mediterranean Sea.

The boat was carrying 250 people when it sank off the town of al Khoms, about 120km east of the capital, Tripoli, a spokesman for the Libyan navy, Ayoub Qasim, told the dpa news agency on Thursday before adding that 134 migrants and refugees were rescued.

However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in a Twitter post on Thursday that more than 150 people were feared drowned while 145 were rescued and returned to Libya after the incident.

"The worst Mediterranean tragedy of this year has just occurred," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) spokesperson Charlie Yaxley said the survivors were picked up by local fishermen and then taken back to shore by the Libyan coastguard.