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240 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean after aid group finds five bodies from capsized boats

240 migrants feared dead in Mediterranean after aid group finds five bodies from capsized boats
A member of the Proactiva Open Arms rescue team looks at the sea at their base near Skala Sykamiasn on the island of Lesbos on March 15. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP/Getty Images)

A Spanish aid organization says it has recovered five bodies from waters off the Libyan coast and fears that at least 240 migrants could have died after two boats capsized in the Mediterranean.

Proactiva Open Arms spokeswoman Laura Lanuza said each rubber boat usually holds 120 people, but smugglers tend to fill them over capacity to maximize their benefits in each trip.

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She said the NGO confirmed the sinking of two boats but was able to find the bodies of only five men of African origin on Thursday morning, about 13 miles north of the Libyan town of Sabratha.

The migrants were between 16 and 25 years old and appeared to have drowned, said Lanuza, as their bodies didn't show any sign of violence. The NGO's rescuers were searching for a third boat.

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