A militia in Libya’s most notorious smuggling town has made a rare show of force against the area’s influential gangs, capturing some of those alleged to be responsible for the drowning of up to 300 people on Thursday.
The Masked Brigade, a militia that says it upholds law and order in Zuwara in the absence of a functioning Libyan state, seized three men this weekend.
It accused them of responsibility for the sinking of a boat carrying between 400 and 500 people hoping to reach Europe.
The boat began to sink while still in Libyan waters, and the bodies of many of those who drowned washed up on the seashore close to Zuwara.
Rescuers saved 198 people and 110 bodies have been recovered, leaving as many as 200 people unaccounted for.
This visceral reminder of the human cost of the town’s primary source of income prompted protests from sections of Zuwaran society.
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