The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Sunday said that 79 illegal migrants have been rescued and 8 others went missing off Libyan coast.

“IOM staff are providing emergency assistance to 79 migrants returned to Libya by the coast guard today,” the UN body tweeted. Among the rescued migrants were 13 women and 7 children, it said.

Libya has been mired in chaos following the ouster and killing of its leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for illegal migrants who intend to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards Europe.

Thousands of illegal migrants, who were either rescued at sea or arrested by the authorities, remain detained in overcrowded detention centers in Libya, despite repeated international calls to close those centers.

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