Twenty-two Europe-bound migrants, including eight Bangladeshis, were rescued from Libya's Mediterranean coast, after their dingy capsized in the sea, said International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Libyan fishermen spotted the sinking boat late Thursday and managed to rescue the 22 from the sea, reports news agency UNB quoting news agency AP.
The other rescued are from Egypt, Syria, Somalia and Ghana.
The UN migration agency also revealed that bodies of three migrants from Syria and Ghana were retrieved from the sea.
Some 16 others might have drowned, it feared.
There were eight Bangladeshi nationals out of total 38 international immigrants. All the Bangladeshis were rescued and they remain safe
ASM Ashraful Islam, labour counselor at Bangladesh Mission in Libya, confirmed that there were eight Bangladeshis among the migrants on board.
“There were eight Bangladeshi nationals out of total 38 international immigrants. All the Bangladeshis were rescued and they remain safe,” he told news agency UNB on Saturday night.
The boat with the migrants on board had set off from the town of Zliten, east of the Libyan capital of Tripoli on late Wednesday.
Masoud Abdal Samad, commodore of Libyan coast guard, warned that the death toll may rise as their search teams scoured the area to trace the missing people.
“Autumn is a very difficult season. When it gets windy, it’s deadly. It changes in an instant,” he said on the nature of the Mediterranean Sea in the area.
However, the survivors were taken to the Zliten detention centre, run by the Tripoli-based government’s interior ministry.
Migrants rescued at sea and returned to Libya routinely land in detention centres notorious for torture, extortion and abuse.
Earlier on Thursday, Amnesty International, a UK-based human rights watchdog, revealed that thousands of migrants have been forcibly disappeared from the unofficial militia-run detention centres.