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UN says 239 migrants die in two shipwrecks off Libya

UNHCR says the information was confirmed by two survivors brought ashore on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

FILE: Men evacuate a rubber boat with the help of the crew of the Topaz Responder ship run by Maltese NGO Moas and the Italian Red Cross during a rescue operation of migrants and refugees on 3 November 2016 off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean Sea. Picture: AFP.

GENEVA - At least 239 migrants have died in two shipwrecks off Libya, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Carlotta Sami, a spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said the information was confirmed by two survivors brought ashore on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Leonard Doyle, chief spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration, said 4,220 lives had now been lost in the Mediterranean so far this year.

More details to follow on this developing story.