CAIRO    -   Libya’s coast guard recovered dozens of bodies of Europe-bound migrants who perished at sea as search operations continued Friday, a day after up to 150 people, including women and children, went missing and were feared drowned after their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea.

A top U.N. official described Thursday’s shipwreck as “the worst Mediterranean tragedy” so far this year.

The Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in the Libyan capital said that up to 350 migrants were on board the boats that capsized off the town of Khoms, around 120 kilometres east of Tripoli.

The migrants include nationals from Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan and Libya, the agency said. Libyan officials said more than 130 migrants have been rescued since Thursday.

At least a dozen were taken to a hospital in Khoms while the rest were transferred to different detention centers.