Reuters International

Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships "Bettica" and "Bergamini" (unseen) off the coast of Libya in this handout picture released by the Italian Marina Militare on May 25, 2016. Marina Militare/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

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TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The bodies of at least 85 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean have been washed up near the western Libyan city of Zuwara, a Red Crescent official said on Thursday.

Al-Khamis Al-Bosaifi said most of the migrants appeared to be from sub-Saharan Africa, though their bodies were decomposed and it was not clear when they had drowned.

A surge in departures from the North African coast towards Italy left hundreds dead last week. Many of the boats are believed to have left from the shore around Zuwara and the nearby city of Sabratha.

(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami; Writing by Aidan Lewis)

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