A floating cemetery of smuggler's boats in Lampedusa. These rickety boats were used to transport people fleeing Libya for Italy. Many do not make it this far. © UNHCR/F.Noy

UN News - Latest boat tragedy off Libya coast spotlights rising Mediterranean death toll – UN agency

Three people died on this boat, which ran aground on Lampedusa after the dangerous journey from Libya.  © UNHCR/F.Noy

Three people died on this boat, which ran aground on Lampedusa after the dangerous journey from Libya. © UNHCR/F.

Men from sub-Saharan Africa, including Somalis and Eritreans, mill in the vast yard of a detention centre in Benghazi. © UNHCR/L.Dobbs

Men from sub-Saharan Africa, including Somalis and Eritreans, mill in the vast yard of a detention centre in Benghazi.<br>© UNHCR/L.

A middle-aged man from the deserted town of Tawergha strolls around a former marine academy where hundreds of internally displaced people are staying. © UNHCR/L.Dobbs

A middle-aged man from the deserted town of Tawergha strolls around a former marine academy where hundreds of internally displaced people are staying. © UNHCR/L.

Strings of Libya's new flag flutter from a mosque in Tripoli a year after people rose against the former regime. But many displaced people were not celebrating.  © UNHCR/L.Dobbs

Strings of Libya's new flag flutter from a mosque in Tripoli a year after people rose against the former regime. But many displaced people were not celebrating. © UNHCR/L.

The trip, originally supposed to take 24 hours, ends up taking three days. The first night is spent in Nampala, near the border with Mauritania. It's too dangerous to drive at night because of the poor state of the roads and the risk of running into rebel groups. The passengers snack on biscuits and bread purchased along the way and sleep under blankets outside the bus. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

The trip, originally supposed to take 24 hours, ends up taking three days. The first night is spent in Nampala, near the border with Mauritania. It's too dangerous to drive at night because of the poor state of the roads and the risk of running into rebel groups. The passengers snack on biscuits and bread purchased along the way and sleep under blankets outside the bus. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by crew of the Italian ship, Grecale. They will be transferred to a larger vessel, fed and given medical treatment before being transported to the mainland. © UNHCR/A.D'Amato

Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by crew of the Italian ship, Grecale. They will be transferred to a larger vessel, fed and given medical treatment before being transported to the mainland.<br>© UNHCR/A.

While waiting to travel home, many of those who have crossed to Tunisia stay in tents in a transit camp.  © UNHCR/A.Duclos

While waiting to travel home, many of those who have crossed to Tunisia stay in tents in a transit camp. © UNHCR/A.

UNHCR's new camp in Ras Djir, near the Tunisian- Libyan border, can accomodate up to 10,000 people. © UNHCR/A.Duclos

UNHCR's new camp in Ras Djir, near the Tunisian- Libyan border, can accomodate up to people.<br>© UNHCR/A.

Italian coastguard vessels prepare to disembark boat people on a day when 1,271 people arrived in Lampedusa. © UNHCR/F.Noy

Italian coastguard vessels prepare to disembark boat people on a day when people arrived in Lampedusa. © UNHCR/F.

The shell of a tank once used to bombard the inhabitants of Misrata is now a playground for children.  © UNHCR/H.Caux/June 1, 2011

The shell of a tank once used to bombard the inhabitants of Misrata is now a playground for children. © UNHCR/H.

The camp at Sallum is located between two busy roads. Big trucks pass very close to some of the makeshift homes. © UNHCR/L. Dobbs

The camp at Sallum is located between two busy roads. Big trucks pass very close to some of the makeshift homes. © UNHCR/L.

One of the massive tents, or rubb halls, erected by UNHCR at the Sallum crossing. Each tent provides accommodation for either women and children, or men alone. © UNHCR/L. Dobbs

One of the massive tents, or rubb halls, erected by UNHCR at the Sallum crossing. Each tent provides accommodation for either women and children, or men alone. © UNHCR/L.

A woman hangs up her family's washing at Sallum beside a shelter made from plastic sheeting and other materials.  © UNHCR/L. Dobbs

A woman hangs up her family's washing at Sallum beside a shelter made from plastic sheeting and other materials. © UNHCR/L.

The bus finally arrives in Timbuktu early morning on the third day. The city is in a shambles and soldiers question the travellers and check their luggage before letting them make their way to their homes. Fatima and her children have to wait for more than an hour. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

The bus finally arrives in Timbuktu early morning on the third day. The city is in a shambles and soldiers question the travellers and check their luggage before letting them make their way to their homes. Fatima and her children have to wait for more than an hour. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

The bus breaks down constantly. For every two hours on the road, an hour is spent waiting for repairs to be completed. Towns are few and far between and mobile phone reception is patchy. The second night is spent in Goundam, just 85 kilometres south of Timbuktu. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

The bus breaks down constantly. For every two hours on the road, an hour is spent waiting for repairs to be completed. Towns are few and far between and mobile phone reception is patchy. The second night is spent in Goundam, just 85 kilometres south of Timbuktu. © UNHCR/T.Martinez

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