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31 Illegal Immigrants Rescued Off Libyan Coast

Would-be immigrants stand on a coastguard vessel as they arrive at Tarifa’s harbour on August 11, 2014, after being rescued off the Spanish Coast. Spain’s coastguard today rescued more than 260 sub-Saharan African migrants crossing the Strait of Gibraltar on small boats. Many migrants from sub-Saharan Africa attempt to cross into Spain from Morocco, either by sea through the Strait of Gibraltar or overland, via the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the extreme north of Morocco. AFP PHOTO / MARCOS MORENO (Photo credit should read MARCOS MORENO/AFP/Getty Images)

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Monday said that 31 illegal immigrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast.

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“IOM staff are at the disembarkation point in Tripoli, to provide emergency assistance to 31 migrants returned to shore by the coast guard,” IOM tweeted later Monday.

“Over 7,000 migrants have so far been intercepted and returned to Libya this year. Most end up in arbitrary detention,” it added.

Libya has been mired in a state of insecurity and chaos since 2011, making the North African country a preferred point of departure for thousands of illegal immigrants who want to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward Europe.

Immigrant shelters in Libya have been overcrowded with migrants despite repeated international calls to close them.

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Written by PH

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