April 27, 2016 / 10:02 PM / 2 years ago

Egyptian migrants killed in clash with Libyan smugglers: official

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least nine Egyptian migrants and three people smugglers were killed in a money dispute in the town of Bani Walid, a local official said on Wednesday.

The official said a group of Egyptians had killed the Libyan smugglers and tried to drive the bodies away, but they were stopped at a checkpoint when blood was noticed on their car.

A fourth smuggler then went to the police station where the Egyptians were being held, and opened fire on them, he said.

The United Nations mission to Libya said the deaths had occurred in a series of incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday. It said as many as 13 Egyptians had been killed, and called for an investigation.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants and internally displaced people are currently in Libya, according to the United Nations. Some foreign migrants have settled in the North African country to work, while others are seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea for Europe.

Powerful smuggling networks linked to Libya’s numerous armed groups generally control migration flows, and migrants are frequently subjected to abuses.

Reporting by Ahmed Elumami, writing by Aidan Lewis, editing by G Crosse

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