340 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast – IOM

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Friday that 340 illegal migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast.

“IOM staff are at the disembarkation point in Tripoli to assist 340 men, women and children, who were returned to Libya today by the coast guard,” the UN migration agency tweeted. “While our staff continue to provide emergency assistance post disembarkation, IOM reiterates that Libya is not a safe port,” it said.

Due to the state of insecurity and chaos in the North African nation following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly Africans, chose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya towards Europe.

In 2020, 323 migrants died and 417 others went missing on the Central Mediterranean route, while 11,891 illegal migrants were rescued and returned to Libya, according to the IOM. The agency said that more than 2,000 illegal migrants have been rescued off Libyan coast so far in 2021.

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