By Goobjoog News and Reuters
Somalis and Eritrean nationals are among several African migrants who died or injured in a truck crash in Libya Wednesday.
Reuters reported Wednesday a truck carrying African migrants crashed near the Libyan town of Bani Walid killing 19 while nearly 80 others were injured.
Bani Walid hospital manager Mohamed al-Mabrouk said the truck had flipped over about 80 km (50 miles) south of Bani Walid. At least 78 people had been injured, eight of them seriously, he said.
“We did not receive the driver (at the hospital), and we don’t know what has happened to him,” said Mabrouk. “Most likely he’s survived otherwise he would be brought here.”
A military source quoted by Reuters put the death toll at 25 noting Somali and Eritrean nationals were among the victims.
Bani Walid, located south of Tripoli, is a hub for smugglers who bring sub-Saharan migrants by road from neighboring countries up toward Libya’s Mediterranean coast.
They are often held and transported in brutal conditions, passed between smugglers who take payments for different stages of the journey and extort money from migrants.
From northern Libya, many of the migrants attempt to cross to Italy in flimsy inflatable dinghies.