Over 100 illegal immigrants drowned off Libyan coast

Three babies dead after shipwreck in Mediterranean with scores missing

Held in the outstretched arms of three men close to the water's edge, one of the babies was still wearing sneakers, fastened shut with pink Velcro straps, another with red socks that matched a pair of red and white dotted trousers and the third barefoot, partially wrapped with a makeshift covering.

The International Organization for Migration describes the Mediterranean Sea as the world's deadliest border.

Spanish maritime rescue services have brought ashore 90 migrants pulled up from boats as they attempted to cross the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco.

The only bodies recovered were those of the three babies, while the rest of the dead were left at the scene "for lack of resources", a Libyan coastguard employee said.

Fourteen migrants were rescued by the coastguard this morning but scores are still missing. The Libyans, however, managed to rescue 14 migrants from the group, as per several media reports.

Fishermen found the vessel and contacted the coast guard of Libya.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Greece and Spain have declared that they're prepared to take back migrants already registered in those countries who arrive in Germany.

"I saw people die: babies, children, women, men", he said.

"They do this fully aware of the extreme violence and abuses that refugees and migrants suffer in Libya".

Separately, Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini has said Italian ports would be closed "all summer" to NGO ships. "We are still waiting for a word on their fate from a navy boat in the area". "The Open Arms has been here for many days, and neither Italy, nor anyone else, is using our capabilities", he said.

On June 18, five bodies were recovered and more than 100 people were saved after they were shipwrecked off the Libyan coast. We are not here to obstruct the work of the coast guard.

The agreement reached by European Union leaders overnight includes plans to set up secure centres in Europe to process arrivals' arrival claims, but cracks are already starting to emerge, with France and Austria ruling themselves out as hosts. It is not clear which countries are willing to accept refugees and to establish camps.

Libya is one of the main departure points for migrants trying to cross to Europe by sea, usually in flimsy inflatable boats provided by smugglers that often get punctured or break down.

The route, the shortest from northern Africa into Europe, is gaining popularity among migrants looking fleeing conflicts or poverty.

Illegal migrant crossings into Europe have decreased 95 percent since their peak in October 2015, according to the European Council.



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