The United Nations mission in Libya condemned the “heinous killing” of 15 migrants near the Mediterranean coastal city of Sabratha.
It was gathered that the bodies were found on a beach on Friday morning, most of them burned inside a charred boat.
The U.N. mission UNSMIL said in a statement, “While the exact circumstances remain to be determined, the killings reportedly resulted from clashes between rival traffickers.”
It urged authorities in the North African nation “to ensure a swift, independent and transparent investigation to bring all perpetrators to justice.”
Rights groups have repeatedly accused authorities and armed groups operating under state auspices of torture and other abuses.
The latest killings are “a stark reminder of the lack of protection migrants and asylum seekers face in Libya, and the widespread human rights violations undertaken by powerful trafficking and criminal networks who need to be swiftly stopped and prosecuted,” UNSMIL said.
Libyan media reported that the killings resulted from a “dispute between people smugglers” that led to them opening fire on the migrants, mostly from African countries further south.
It was reported that one of the groups involved set fire to the boat.