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Over 1,100 illegal migrants rescued off Libya

August 3, 2021 at 2:22 pm

Migrants arrive at the naval base in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on April 29, 2021 [MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images]

More than 1,100 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to Libya over the past week, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said yesterday, Xinhua  News Agency reports.

Between 25-31 July as many as 1,111 migrants were rescued or intercepted at sea and returned to Libya.

So far in 2021, a total of 19,393 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 360 died and 570 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to IOM.

Migrants often attempt the dangerous journey from Libya or Tunisia across the Mediterranean in overcrowded and flimsy boats in the hope of reaching Malta or Italy.

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 illegal migrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores.

Rescued migrants end up in overcrowded reception centres, despite repeated international calls to close those centres.

READ: Rescuers pull 394 migrants from dangerously overcrowded boat off Tunisia