GENEVA – The U.N. migration agency says a new survey shows that most migrants who cross the Mediterranean from Libya, and increasingly die trying, actually don't want to reach Europe.
International Organization for Migration spokesman Joel Millman says human smugglers have forced out many migrants — at times at gunpoint — after extracting ransoms from their families.
An IOM survey of migrants in Libya released Tuesday found 56 percent had intended it to be their final destination. Fewer than 30 percent combined said they wanted to reach the other top destinations: Italy, France and Germany.
Mostly young men from Niger, Egypt and Sudan, nearly 90 percent of respondents said they went to Libya for economic reasons.
IOM says an annual record of 4,164 people have died on the central Mediterranean this year.