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Libyan coast guard fired shots over rescue ship, migrants, NGOs say

March 27, 2023 at 9:30 pm

Rescue at sea by the rescuers of the Ocean Viking ship of the NGO SoS Mediterranee in the Central Mediterranean Sea south-east of Malta [Vincenzo Circosta – Anadolu Agency]

Libya’s coast guard fired warning shots over a humanitarian vessel as it attempted to rescue a rubber boat carrying migrants off Libya’s coast over the weekend, sea rescue group, SOS Mediterranee, said.

Charities, SOS Mediterranee and Sea-Watch, accused Libya’s coast guard of firing gun shots and deliberately endangering the crew of SOS Mediterranee’s Ocean Viking search and rescue vessel, as well as persons in distress in the Central Mediterranean, AP reports.

The Libyan coast guard went on to return some 80 Europe-bound migrants to Libyan soil, according to SOS Mediterranee.

READ: Urgent action needed to remedy deteriorating human rights in Libya: UN fact-finding mission