By Pita Ochai
Libyan migration department spokesman said in Tripoli that no fewer than 100 bodies, presumably of sub-Saharan boat migrants, were washed up off near the Libyan city of Tajoura.
He said the bodies are believed to be victims of a shipwreck off the western coastal town, located some 10 kilometres east of Tripoli.
Tajoura is known as a departure spot for Europe-bound boat migrants.
The spokesman said women and children were said to be among the dead but authorities could not yet confirm the exact number of bodies found or their nationalities.
He said the bodies were being sent to a Tripoli hospital. The spokesman said if the number of the dead was confirmed, it would be the biggest migrant tragedy since April 18, when 850 people perished in a single shipwreck off Libya.
Meanwhile, the International Organisation for Migration, said 1,914 migrants have died in the Mediterranean since January 1, compared to 1,031 within the same period in 2014.
The organisation said tragedies have become less frequent since May following a decision by EU leaders to expand search and rescue efforts.