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949 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast: IOM

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Tripoli, July 7, 2021- The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said that a total of 949 illegal migrants were rescued off the Libyan coast and returned to the country in the past week.

In the period of June 27 to July 3, the IOM said on Tuesday that the 949 migrants were rescued or intercepted at sea and returned to the war-torn country, reports Xinhua news agency.

So far in 2021, a total of 15,700 illegal migrants, including women and children, have been rescued, while 225 have died and 499 went missing off the Libyan coast on the Central Mediterranean route, according to the IOM.

Libya has been plagued by insecurity and chaos since the fall of the late leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, making it a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants wanting to cross the Mediterranean Sea toward European shores.

The country currently hosts 43,113 refugees and asylum-seekers who are registered with UNHCR.

Refugees are travelling alongside migrants through dangerous routes towards Europe.

Up to 90 per cent of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe depart from Libya.

Rescued migrants end up inside overcrowded reception centres across Libya, despite repeated international calls to close them.  (Agency)

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