More than 240 illegal migrants rescued off the Libyan coast

Tripoli, July 5 (IANS) The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said more than 240 illegal migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya by the country’s coast guard.

In a tweet on Sunday evening, the agency said: “Some 250 people returned to Tripoli after being rescued / intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard. UNHCR and its partner IRC (International Red Cross) are on the ground providing medical care and humanitarian aid.

Earlier today, UNHCR also confirmed that 120 more people had been returned to Tripoli, while on Saturday there were 121 illegal immigrants.

In 2021, 14,388 illegal migrants, including women and children, were rescued, while 194 died and 492 are missing off the Libyan coast on the route to the central Mediterranean.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a prime starting point for illegal immigrants wishing to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European coasts.

The country currently hosts 43,113 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR.

Refugees travel alongside migrants on dangerous routes to Europe.

Up to 90 percent of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe leave from Libya.

Rescued migrants find themselves in overcrowded reception centers across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.

–IANS

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