The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it was profoundly shocked and alarmed by the discovery of at least 65 immigrants' bodies in a mass grave in Southwest Libya. 

"The circumstance of their death and nationalities remains unknown, but it is believed that they died in the process of being smuggled through the desert." IOM said.

An IOM spokesperson said each report of a missing immigrant or a loss of life represents a grieving family searching for answers about their loved ones or acknowledging the tragedy of the loss, adding that the cost of inadequate action is evident in the increasing human deaths and the disturbing conditions migrants find themselves in.

"This latest tragedy highlights the urgent need to address the challenges of irregular migration including through a coordinated response to the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons. Without regular pathways that provide opportunities for legal migration, such tragedies will continue to be a feature along this route." IOM remarked.

It said it appreciated that the Libyan authorities were investigating these deaths and called on them together with UN partner agencies to ensure a dignified recovery, identification and transfer of the remains of the deceased migrants, and appropriately notifying and assisting their families. 

According to the Missing Migrants Project, at least 3,129 deaths and disappearances have been recorded in 2023 along the Mediterranean route – the deadliest migratory route, not including this latest incident. 

IOM further called on all governments and authorities along the route to enhance regional cooperation to ensure the safety and protection of migrants, regardless of their status and across all stages of their journeys.