Libya’s Coastguard Intercepts About 150 Europe-bound Migrants

| How Africa News
File Photo Migrants Are Rescued in the Mediterranean As They Attempted to Make the Precarious Sea Crossing to Europe in August 2019 Getty Images

Libya’s coastguard said on Saturday it had intercepted around 150 Europe-bound migrants off the country’s Mediterranean coast.

Spokesman Ayoub Gassim said Gassim said the migrants were sailing on three rubber boats before they were intercepted off Libya’s western towns of Zuwara and Sabrata.

Gassim said the migrants were returned to the shore and would be taken to a detention center in the capital, Tripoli.

Libya is the preferred departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe illegally, though the numbers have dropped significantly since July 2017.

The illegal migration has been fueled by human trafficking cells which have taken advantage of the political situation in the North African country.

Libya descended into chaos in 2011 after the ouster and killing of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in an operation backed by NATO.

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