At least 15 Africans have drowned after their boat capsized off Libya, a UN spokeswoman says, in the second shipwreck involving migrants seeking a better life in Europe in just over a week.
The victims were on a rubber boat carrying at least 110 migrants who had embarked from the Libyan coastal town of Zawiya on Friday, International Organisation for Migration spokeswoman Safa Msehli said.
The boat started to sink early on Sunday and the Libyan coast guard managed to rescue at least 95 migrants, including six women and two children, she said.
Msehli said many of the survivors suffered from burns from engine fuel and hypothermia, with some taken to hospital.
"It is an additional tragedy that in most cases, there is very little search to recover the bodies. The sight of bodies washing ashore later has sadly become too familiar," she added.
Sunday's shipwreck was the latest along the Central Mediterranean migration route. At least 41 migrants were reported dead last week, part of a group of some 120 migrants on a dinghy that left the North African country on February 18.
Libya has become the major transit point for African and Arab migrants hoping to reach Europe, after the country plunged into a bloody civil war following a NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gadhafi in 2011.
Smugglers often pack desperate families into ill-equipped rubber boats that stall and flounder along the perilous Central Mediterranean route.
Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of migrants have reached Europe either on their own or after being rescued at sea.
Thousands have drowned along the way. Others were intercepted and returned to Libya to be left at the mercy of armed groups or confined in detention centres that lack adequate food and water, according to rights groups.
Australian Associated Press