At least 11 people drown after migrant boat bound for Europe capsizes off Libya

At least 11 people died after a migrant boat bound for Europe capsized off the coast Libya, the UN migration agency said.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the tragedy took place on Sunday near the western town of Zawiya.

The Libyan coast guard rescued 12 migrants.

“The continuous loss of life calls for an urgent change in approach to the situation in Libya and the Central Med,” IOM said in a tweet.

Those migrants were expected to be taken to a detention centre.

Sunday’s deadly shipwreck was the latest along the Central Mediterranean migration route. Last month, at least 130 people were presumed dead after their boat capsized off Libya, in one of the deadliest maritime tragedies in years along the busy route.

Libya descended into chaos following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

In the years since the uprising, Libya has emerged as the dominant transit point for people travelling towards Europe.

Since 2014, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have died at sea while trying to reach Europe from Africa.

More than 17,000 of those have been on the Central Mediterranean which is described by the UN as the most dangerous migration route in the world.

There has been a spike in crossings and attempted crossings from Libya in recent weeks. Approximately 7,000 Europe-bound migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya so far this year, according to the IOM’s tally.

Human rights groups and UN agencies have denounced inhumane treatment faced by people at Libyan detention centres saying they endured beatings, rapes and insufficient rations.

The European Union has reportedly spent more than $109 million in funding and training the Libyan coastguard to stop the crossings.