More than 800 unauthorized migrants intercepted off Libyan coast in past week: IOM

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Rescued migrants disembark from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms on October 1, 2019. © Mahmud Turkia, AFP
Rescued migrants disembark from a Libyan coast guard ship in the town of Khoms on October 1, 2019. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP)

More than 800 unauthorized migrants have been intercepted off the coast of Libya over the past week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Monday.

From April 25 to May 1, “818 migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea and returned to Libya,” the organization said in a statement, adding that 6,992 migrants have been intercepted and returned to Libya so far this year, including 545 women and 335 minors.

Additionally, 139 migrants died and 349 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route so far in 2021, the IOM said.

In 2020, 11,891 unauthorized migrants were intercepted and returned to Libya, while 381 illegal migrants died and 597 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route, the IOM said.

Due to years of instability and unrest, Libya has become a preferred point of departure for migrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

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