The Security Chamber of the Libyan city of Sabratha, some 70 km west of the capital Tripoli, announced on Sunday the arrest of 76 illegal immigrants who were about to cross the Mediterranean toward Europe.
“Security patrols of Sabratha arrested 76 illegal immigrants of different African nationalities,” Sabratha Security Chamber said in a statement.
“Among the immigrants are women and children, who were in a vehicle on the way to the beach and carrying equipment to (cross the sea) during early hours,” the statement added.
Suffering insecurity and chaos, Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe.
According to the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, more than 8,000 illegal immigrants have been rescued at sea by the Libyan navy during the first nine months of 2019.
The International Organization for Migration estimated that more than 8,600 illegal immigrants have been returned to overcrowded detention centers in Libya, where the United Nations documented “unacceptable conditions, violations of human rights and disappearances.”