Over 100 migrants intercepted off Libyan coast: IOM

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./ Getty Images)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday said that 108 additional migrants were intercepted off the Libyan coast.

“Today, 108 migrants, including ten women and four children were returned to Libya by the coast guard,” IOM tweeted.

“We maintain that the arbitrary detention of migrants must end,” IOM said.

According to IOM, a total of 6,174 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast so far this year, including 426 women and 277 minors.

In 2020, a total of 11,891 immigrants were rescued and returned to Libya, IOM estimates, noting that 381 migrants died and 597 went missing on the Central Mediterranean route during the same period.

Libya has become a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach European shores.

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