A desire to reach Europe has ended for five persons whose bodies were picked up by Libyan coastguards on Sunday after they encountered a rough tide.

Another 191 survivors were also picked up off the coast of the capital of Libya, Tripoli. 

The western coast of Libya is the main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.

The numbers have reduced since July last year when European Union heightened efforts to stop the trend. 

The five dead migrants were brought back to port in Tripoli along with 115 survivors from various sub-Saharan African and Arab countries, coastguard officials said.

Their boat was intercepted off Mellitah on Sunday after being damaged by rough seas, according to a coastguard spokesman, Ayoub Qassem.

Another group of 76 migrants were also intercepted on Sunday off Zawiya, just west of Tripoli.

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Since last summer, smuggling networks inside Libya have been disrupted under Italian pressure, and Libya’s EU-backed coastguard has stepped up interceptions, returning more than 7,000 migrants to Libya so far this year.

Since January, some 10,760 migrants have crossed from Libya to Italy, more than 80% less than during the same period last year, according to statistics from Italy’s interior ministry.

On June 11, crossings in the central Mediterranean were thrown into further uncertainty when Italy’s new government closed its ports to a rescue ship operated by humanitarian organisations that was loaded with more than 600 migrants.

Malta also refused to allow the ship dock in its port.

It eventually docked in Spain.

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