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At least 19 migrants killed in Libya truck crash: hospital

Libya has become a key gateway for migrants since the 2011 fall of dictator Moamer Kadhafi. By Taha JAWASHI (AFP/File)

At least 19 migrants were killed on Wednesday and more than 100 injured when the truck transporting them crashed in Libya, a hospital said.

More than 300 migrants, mostly Eritrean and Somali nationals, were on board the vehicle which overturned near the town of Bani Walid.

A child was among at least 19 migrants killed in the accident, the head of the town’s hospital, Salah al-Mabrouk, told AFP.

Map locating Bani Walid in Libya where many migrants travelling in a truck were killed in a crash. Map locating Bani Walid in Libya where many migrants travelling in a truck were killed in a crash.

The hospital, which had earlier given a toll of 23 dead, said at least 124 migrants were injured and it was struggling to cope.

“Several victims are even being treated on the ground,” said spokesman Salah al-Twijer.

Since the 2011 overthrow and killing of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi, chaos-wracked Libya has become a key gateway for migrants trying to reach Europe, often on unseaworthy vessels.

Bani Walid, on the edge of the desert 170 kilometres (110 miles) southeast of the capital Tripoli, is a transit point for migrants heading to the Mediterranean coast.

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