Over 240 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast


Tripoli, July 5 (IANS) The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that more than 240 illegal migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya by the country’s Coast Guard.

In a tweet late Sunday night, the the Agency said: “Some 250 persons returned to Tripoli after being rescued/intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guards. UNHCR and partner IRC (International Red Cross) are on the ground providing medical care and humanitarian aid.

Earlier in the day, the UNHCR also confirmed that 120 additional persons were returned to Tripoli, while on Saturday there were 121 illegal immigrants.

In 2021, 14,388 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 194 died and 492 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

The country currently hosts 43,113 refugees and asylum-seekers who are registered with UNHCR.

Refugees are travelling alongside migrants through dangerous routes towards Europe.

Up to 90 per cent of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe depart from Libya.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.


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