Up to 115 Europe-bound migrants, including women and children, are missing and feared drowned after the boats they were travelling in capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya.
"The sinking took place off the coast of the city of Khoms", some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Tripoli, said Safa Msehli, spokesperson for the International Organisation of Migration in Libya.
The UNHCR earlier said it understood as many as 150 people were missing and 150 people had been rescued by local fishermen and returned to Libya by coastguards.
Human rights advocates on Friday reiterated their call for political leaders to ensure safe passage and end criminalization of rescue operations following reports that as many as 150 migrants drowned in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea.
"The worst Mediterranean tragedy of this year has just occurred", UNHCR head Filippo Grandi said in a tweet.
Earlier this month, a strike hit a migrant detention facility in a Tripoli suburg killing at least 44 people trapped inside.
Amnesty International called Friday on European Union leaders to "show some courage" and reverse their decision to halt migrant rescues in the Mediterranean.
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Rescued migrants sit on a coast some 100km east of Tripoli, Libya.
One of the survivors, from Eritrea, said most of the migrants on his boat were women, he said, and a lot of them drowned.
Asked about the latest boat sinking and deaths, United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq expressed the world body's concerns.
After the NATO-backed uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, Libya became a major conduit for African migrants and refugees seeking a better life in Europe. Libyan officials said more than 130 have been rescued since Thursday. Traffickers and armed groups have exploited Libya's chaos since Gadhafi's overthrow, and have been implicated in widespread abuses of migrants, including torture and abduction for ransom. The U.N. has voiced concern for their safety.
Those who make the journey often travel in poorly maintained and overcrowded ships, and many have died.
One of the fishermen who was the first on the scene to save the survivors recounted finding "bodies floating on the surface of the water where the boat went down". The attack was widely blamed on the airforce of Libya's renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar, whose forces have been battling militias loosely aligned with a UN-recognised government since April.
"Restoring rescue at sea, ending refugee + migrant detention in Libya, increasing safe pathways out of Libya must happen NOW, before it is too late for many more desperate people", he added.