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Libya: At least 24 migrants to Europe drown

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ESAM MOHAMED | May 11, 2014 12:16 PM EST | AP

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TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libyan officials say the bodies of at least 24 migrants attempting to make it to Europe were found after a boat carrying 130 capsized days ago off the country's shores.

Libyan navy spokesman Ayoub Bilqassem said Sunday the bottom of the small boat collapsed this weekend. He said 52 people, mostly Africans, were immediately rescued and four bodies were found. Bilqassem said 20 bodies were found later.

However, Interior Ministry spokesman Rami Kaal said another 40 bodies were washed ashore since the capsizing at al-Qarbouli, 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the capital. The discrepancy could not be immediately reconciled.

Libya has become a prime springboard for tens of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe in rickety, crowded boats.