A boat carrying 25 immigrants from Arab and Asian countries, including Libya, sank off Zawiya shore while en route to Europe on Thursday, sources say.

The Criminal Investigation Agency of the Western Region said the wooden boat set off at around 2.00 am local time from Al-Harsha district shore carrying immigrants from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and Pakistan, in addition to other unidentified nationalities.

“20 minutes later, the seawater began to seep into the boat and the Sudanese captain attempted to make a U-turn to head back to the beach, but it was too late as the boat capsized,” the agency quoted one of survivors as saying.

Some immigrants wearing life vests floated in the water and the others sank immediately.

“A number of immigrants were rescued by local fishermen with the arrival of daylight while many others are still missing”. The Agency said

According to the initial reports, only 6 immigrants were rescued; 2 Libyans, 2 Tunisians, 1 Pakistani and 1 Egyptian.