70 irregular migrants intercepted off Libyan coast

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Migrants intercepted at sea off the Libyan coast are disembarked in Tripoli, Libya on August 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of UNHCR)
Migrants intercepted at sea off the Libyan coast are disembarked in Tripoli, Libya on August 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of UNHCR)

The Libyan Navy on Wednesday said a Coast Guard patrol intercepted 70 migrants off the country’s western coast.

The migrants had remained at sea for three days and were about to drown when the patrol came to their aid, the Libyan Navy said.

The intercepted migrants include 11 women and seven children, it said, adding that they were taken to Tripoli Naval Base, provided with humanitarian and medical assistance, and handed over to anti-illegal immigration authorities.

Libya has been suffering insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for irregular migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

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

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