Over 4,000 migrants rescued off Libyan coast so far in 2021: IOM

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31 August 2019, ---: About 100 migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore". The "Eleonore" took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast. The people were rescued while their boat was sinking, said Axel Steier, spokesman for the Dresden aid organisation Mission Lifeline, which supports the "Eleonore". The ship continues to search for a safe haven. Photo: Johannes Filous/dpa (Photo by Johannes Filous/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Monday said that a total of 4,129 migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya so far in 2021.

31 August 2019, —: About 100 migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship “Eleonore”. The “Eleonore” took in the migrants on 26.08.2019 off the Libyan coast. Photo: Johannes Filous/dpa (Photo by Johannes Filous/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The rescued migrants include 293 women and 215 children, IOM said, adding that 73 migrants died and 159 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route so far this year.

A total of 11,891 migrants were rescued and returned to Libya in 2020, IOM estimates, adding that 381 migrants died and 597 went missing on the Central Mediterranean route during the year.

Due to the insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the fall of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, thousands of people, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe.

Many migrants were either rescued at sea or arrested by the authorities, and detained inside overcrowded reception centers in Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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