Rescue workers recovered the bodies of five migrants on Wednesday who had drowned in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe.

The bodies had washed up on the shores of Libya’s town of Tajura just outside the capital Tripoli.

Rescue workers could only recover five out of the nine bodies on shore in the second day of search operations.

The rubber dinghy used to make the journey had also washed up and was seen damaged on the shore’s rocks.

On Monday about 5 000 migrants were picked up off the Libyan coast by emergency services, Italy’s navy, aid groups and private boats. Rescues were continuing on Tuesday, according to an Italian coast guard spokesperson.

The total number of migrants reaching Europe by sea so far this year is less than half that counted in the same period of 2016, thanks to a deal between the and Turkey which blocked a once-busy route to Greece, but the number of migrants going to Italy has risen.

– By REUTERS