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Libyan coast guards rescue 152 migrants

11th Jun 2018
Libyan coast guards rescue 152 migrants
By Walid Abdullah

 

TRIPOLI (AA): Libyan coast guards have rescued 152 undocumented migrants, including 19 women and three children, off the country’s western shores, according to the Libyan navy on Sunday.

 

The migrants were rescued in two separate operations off Libya’s western shores on Saturday, the navy said in a statement.

A group of migrants were located 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of the city of Zuwara — some 120 km (75 mi) west of the capital Tripoli, while others were rescued 32 km (20 mi) north of Qara Bulli are, 80 km (50 mi) east of Tripoli, it said.

Algerian, Tunisian and Sudanese migrants were among those rescued, the statement said.

Meanwhile, in Central Mediterranean, 629 people, including 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children, 7 pregnant women, [which were] rescued in 6 separate operations are now aboard the Aquarius,” SOS Mediterranee wrote on Twitter.

Malta said the rescue of the migrants had been coordinated by Rome and was therefore the responsibility of Italy.

But Italy’s coalition government, in what could be the start of a new, hard-line stance, said it would not accept the asylum seekers either.

Around 785 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail to Europe, according to the UN migration agency, IOM.

According to the Libyan Navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.

Ever since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other countries in Europe.

Libya represents a major transit point for African migrants seeking access to Europe, especially Italy.

[Archive photo: Migrants in overcrowded boat about to capsize rescued by Bettica Bergamini ships of Italian navy in Sicilian Strait between Italy Lbya. Photographer:  Italian Navy Marina Militare/AA]

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